Bra Patch launches bra collection drive to support women in Florence-ravaged areas

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— The Bra Patch, a locally owned professional bra fitting shop, is collecting new and gently used bras to distribute to women in Hurricane Florence-ravaged areas of eastern North Carolina.

“Many people have been evacuated from their homes and have only the clothes on their backs,” wrote Ruth Dowdy, Bra Patch owner. “Unfortunately, when they do return to their homes, almost all personal belongings will be lost. We need to get these essential items to these women immediately.”

Dowdy tells me that the collection is inspired by similar efforts last year in Houston after Hurricane Harvey. There, a bra store collected more than 5,000 bras to donate to Harvey victims. Dowdy tells me that she also has contacted her major vendors and other bra stores in other states for donations as well. The Bra Patch opened more than 40 years ago in Raleigh, serving women with expert personal fittings and a wide selection of bras, including hard-to-find sizes.

You can donate bras or support the effort in a few ways. Here’s how:

Collections bins are set up at The Bra Patch at 1603 N. Market Dr., Raleigh. Donations can be dropped off anytime during business hours, which are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday.

A second drop off location also has been set up at the Style Finder Boutique in North Hills, 4421 Six Forks Rd., Suite 104. Style Finder’s hours are noon to 5 p.m., :Sunday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

Items collected with be distributed through several organizations, including Support the Girls, which provides bras and menstrual products to homeless women and girls.

After a disaster, the focus, and for good reason, is on food and other absolute necessities. But for women, bras and other hygiene products also are critical as they work to rebuild their lives. If you or your teens have some extra bras in your dressers that you’ve outgrown or no longer wear, this is a great way to help out.

The Durham-based Diaper Bank of North Carolina also recently set up a collection drive seeking donations of not just diapers, but also feminine hygiene products such as tampons and pads and adult incontinence products.