A million bras!
1,000,000! I mean what does a million even look like? A million miles is about 2 round trips back and forth from here to the moon! So we celebrate the amazing over the moon fact that you, our faithful donors, have made it possible for us to collect over a million bras!
In the beginning, our bra collecting was done in Denver by FTG co-founder Kimba Langas. Bras were stored in places like her basement and garage, and later at a storage shed, a friend’s garage, and a charity who loaned us extra storage space. By the end of 2012, we officially moved the Bra Collection Site to Duneland Community Church in Chesterton, Indiana. At first we counted every bra, stacking them in piles of 10 as we packed them in boxes. But it quickly became clear that continuing to do that would be neither practical nor efficient. So we began to weigh the finished boxes of bras and use “bra math” to determine the number of bras we had collected. “Bra math” is one of my favorite parts of my job and involves figuring out how things how many bras fit in a box, how many bras we receive each month, and how many more we need to collect to be able to ship to one of our program locations.
Fun FTG bra math facts:
1,080,000 approximate number of bras collected to date by free The Girls
200= the average number of bras that fit in a FTG box
693 = number of boxes shipped to Mozambique in 2018
180 = number of boxes shipped to El Salvador in 2018
40 = number of boxes shipped to Costa Rica in 2018
30= average number of volunteers helping at each “packing party” to process, sort, and pack boxes
To be honest though, the most important bra math number is “1.” And that’s you! I am consistently humbled and amazed by the generosity of our bra donors. I am touched by the sweet woman from Studio City, California who mails us one bra each month. I love that the Rigby and Peller at 90th and Madison in NYC encloses a “good luck” note with every single box they mail. And my heart smiles every time we open a package and find “bucks” to go with the bras. We couldn’t do what we do without each of you and our fabulous drop-off locations including all of the Title Nine and Rigby and Peller locations.
And what we have been able to do with these bras has been nothing short of life-changing for the women in our programs. These bras, your one million donated bras, have provided economic empowerment for women who have been able to exit the sex trafficking industry by selling them. And I think of the words of Fatima, one of the graduates of our Mozambique program. “When you give bras, you give life. We are able to do so many things because of what you give. And so you can’t get tired of giving because of what we have already demonstrated we can do when you give…it’s really good.”
Here’s a peak at some of those million bras over the years. We stand in awe and gratitude.
On behalf of Free The Girls - Thank you! Obrigado! Gracias! Here’s to one million more!
-Pam Gumns, Bra Math Extraordinare