Support the Girls, a national charity initiative for women and teens spearheaded by Dana Marlowe in the Washington D.C. area, works to supply homeless women with bras and feminine hygiene products. While this organization is implemented across the country, Rachael Heger is responsible for aiding the homeless women of Indianapolis with such necessities.
Heger read about Marlowe’s initiative and wanted to get involved. “On January 1, 2016, I put a request for bras on my neighborhood’s Facebook page, with the original intention of sending them to D.C.,” she said. “I collected 99 bras that first day and realized that I had a high supply and demand right here in Indianapolis. I started a Facebook page, Support the Girls-Indianapolis, and it’s taken off from there.”
According to the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA), there was a two percent decrease in homelessness in Indiana in 2015. Now, thanks to Heger’s efforts, remaining impoverished women of Indianapolis are on the receiving end of an amazing cause.
Heger successfully collected 500 pieces in her first month to donate to the Dayspring Center Project, Home Indy and Horizon House. On her Facebook page, she encourages followers to collect 40 bras in the 40 days of this Lenten season.
Her goal is to collect 3,500 bras by her 35th birthday in December, and she is excited to currently be at 2,300–and counting.
With numbers so high, Heger’s work is time consuming. “Every day, I check my P.O. box, hand write thank-you notes to everyone who mails bras to me, and I count, wash and sort them.”
Luckily, Heger’s young daughter Miriam is a helpful assistant, who is also learning from the great cause. “An unexpected side effect of this project has been the conversations she and I have had about women’s bodies and socioeconomic needs,” said Heger. “We’re a good team.”
Until she reaches her goal, Heger is continuing to drop off more donations at various homeless shelters throughout Indianapolis.
“Every time I open my door, there’s a bag of bras,” Heger told the Indy Star last month. “It’s just wonderful.”