A local group seeks not just one more donation of a brassiere, but 20,000 of them, by the end of the year, to stretch around the world in deliveries to impoverished women in other countries.
Not One More Inc., a nonprofit known as The Silent Witness Project, helps domestic violence victims in Horry and Georgetown counties and has begun collecting donations of new and gently used bras in “Help the Girls” bins at several Conway merchants and one each in Myrtle Beach and Surfside Beach. More drop-off sites are being arranged.
Everyone also is asked to include $1 with each article to help pay for postage to such places as Fiji, Kenya, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and the Cook and Solomon islands.
Linda Snelling, Not One More’s president, who has spent almost two decades assisting women who battle abuse at home, said launching this effort locally fed on inspiration from friends in Africa, because in some of those countries, “bras are so expensive” that they are sold through unlawful channels. Also, with higher infant mortality rates in third world countries, she said the lack of bras worsens already unsanitary conditions for birthing children.
Snelling said women who might have some bras in the back of their dresser they don’t wear anymore, so through Help the Girls, maybe the wares would have another life for a woman who doesn’t even have one to wear.
Question | What prompted this collective effort to assist such needy women so far away?
Answer | You start looking at how poor some of these women are. In Africa, most of the friends I have are in Kenya. Even if you’re in one of the main cities like Nairobi, right outside Nairobi is the largest trash dump in the world. It is actually a city, and people live in that trash dump.
Q. | How does this cause remind everyone of how easy is it to take for granted the everyday comfort, and truly, luxury of underwear?
A. | It’s the simplest of things. ... Imagine in your entire life, you could never own a bra. ... It’s just when you have the choice of “I’m going to give food to my children or I’m going to buy a bra,” the choice is going to be the food. And these people are so poor. You and I could not imagine it. God knew what he was doing when I was born here; I would not have made it somewhere else.
Q. | In light of the sad and bad reality of how many women in the United States cope with domestic abuse, halfway around the world, how do women lacking basic needs deal with even more dire straits for themselves and their children?
A. | Absolutely. ... Over and above the everyday bra, nursing and mastectomy bras are unheard of. ...
Women need to support women, and we need to do it worldwide. We have the same basic needs everywhere in the world. ...
Not One More was actually the name of a speech that I gave years ago that not one more woman should be beaten and abused, not one more child should grow in halls of violence, and not one more parent should have to identify their child’s murdered body, like I did. My daughter was murdered Nov. 21, 1995, and today’s her birthday [Aug. 14]. Oh, I talk about it all the time. You have to hope there was a purpose to come out of such insanity, and this was that purpose.
Q. | How will “Help the Girls” spread across the community as an outlet for people to make a positive difference over a long distance?
A. | It’s going to be a fun campaign to help people around the world. And for anybody who wants to offer a place for collections, we have a container we can bring out. We do need to spread out in more areas. Things like this fundraiser you can keep under wraps for only so long. ...
When we work with victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, it can get to be a little depressing, so here is something that is going to be a lot of fun. Can you imagine a guy saying: “Hey, honey, can I have your bra? It really is for charity.”
Contact STEVE PALISIN at 444-1764.