Not long ago store owner Lisa Beggs was watching a news program and saw a segment about an organization called “Free The Girls.” For days after seeing the segment Lisa couldn’t shake the idea that she should do something. Committed to making a difference in our community, and even beyond Winchester, Lisa and the store staff began to recognize what their action would look like. Free The Girls is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that uses bras (that’s right, bras!) to help women in Mozambique escape human trafficking by providing job opportunities. In southeast Africa bras are a luxury item. Free The Girls collects and sends new and gently used bras to these communities where women sell them in the marketplace and earn a good living while rebuilding their lives. Lisa discussed the organization and their mission with her friend Ryan Melcher of Shenandoah Valley Abolitionists (SVA) and soon they were discussing a grand idea with their pastor at Grace Community Church. Next up, standing up in front of the GCC congregation and talking about bras! Sure, it was a little awkward but the reaction was no surprise; “what can I do to help?” The answer? Dig through your drawers and drop your bras off at GCC or The Uniform Store! And better yet, if you have the ability, buy a couple new bras to donate to the cause! Everyone involved thought a couple hundred bras would be a nice collection effort. What happened next was both amazing and humbling… over 1,300 bras were collected and last month they were shipped to the Colorado based organization!! Next stop… Africa!! Living in the USA it is often hard to imagine how something so small can make such a big difference but anyone involved in mission work will tell you that you need only act when there is a stirring in your spirit. The overwhelming response to this first collection prompted a re-evaluate the original goal and it was decided a one-time collection wasn’t the end of the story. The Uniform Store is now a permanent collection site for Free The Girls and we hope to make regular donations to this amazing organization. More importantly, we are changing the lives of women who need help getting back on their feet.
Thank you for your support and as they say at Free The Girls, may your cups runneth over.