Homeless Women Need Bras


Rachael Heger Headshot Photo Courtesy of Rachael Heger

Ellie Epstein '24, Staff Writer

“Homeless women need bras”, says Rachael Heger, the National Director of Affiliate Outreach for the organization, I Support the Girls, or ISTG, while telling the account of how I Support the Girls was founded. The founder of ISTG, Dana Marlowe, was getting fitted for new bras at Soma, and had sixteen perfectly good ones that just no longer fit her. The sales associate told her that homeless women need bras, so Marlowe called her local homeless shelter to donate the bras and asked what else they need. They said that they need pads and tampons. Menstrual hygiene products are a necessity for menstruating individuals, yet they are taxed as a luxury item rather than a necessity such as food or water. When one can barely afford to feed their family, how are they expected to maintain the dignity of a proper fitting bra and period products?

ISTG was founded to help combat the many issues that surround period inequality and insufficient access to basic necessities such as pads and tampons. They collect and distribute menstrual hygiene products, bras, and underwear to those who cannot afford these basic necessities to ensure their dignity. Heger said, “You might not know if a woman doesn’t have a good-fitting bra or the period products that she needs, so bringing awareness to this often-invisible issue is really important”. ISTG helps to provide the basic human dignity that a good-fitting bra contributes to, as well as menstrual products to manage a natural part of many people’s lives. When one is unable to control their period flow, it is much more difficult to do daily tasks such as go to work, to provide money for their family, or educate themselves. Many girls around the world have to miss countless days of school due to inadequate access to period products. This leads to a gap in education and an array of other issues. 

“A woman shouldn’t have to choose between feeding herself and her personal health. Every woman should have the ability to maintain her dignity. Around the globe we’re helping girls and women experiencing homelessness, victims of domestic violence, victims of sex trafficking, refugees and evacuees affected by natural disasters.” says I Support the Girls through their Mission. ISTG has collected and distributed over 13 million bras and menstrual products, and continues to help menstruating individuals. There are many different volunteer opportunities for ISTG, so for more information on ways to get involved, their website is linked below and provides direct resources to those unable to afford these necessities.


Rachael Heger Headshot
Photo Courtesy of Rachael Heger