Maryland mom collects thousands of bras for women, girls in need

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A Maryland mom who collects gently used bras and feminine hygiene products is making a big difference for the homeless and low income families in our area.

Dana Marlowe has a full time job, takes care of two little boys and also runs a non-profit out of her basement called Support the Girls. The organization collects gently used bras and new hygiene products for women and girls in need.

“This whole non-profit was an accident, like a very fortuitous accident.  I had been exercising and I realized I needed new bras,” said Dana Marlowe, founder of Support the Girls.

More than a year since forming the group, Support the Girls continues to collect items. Marlowe has collected more than 32,000 bras and over 135,000 feminine products, but she’s not alone in her campaign to help others.

“It’s not just me, I am in touch with people all over the world who are doing this or helping out and helping Support the Girls,” said Marlowe.

One of the many women on the receiving end of Marlowe’s efforts is Marsha Lyles. She's a regular client at Thrive DC, a nonprofit helping those in need. She said she’s always excited to get bras that she wouldn't otherwise be able to afford.

“Oh man! Those bras have really been an asset,” said Marsha Lyles, “I look forward to when we can get the bras because you get different colors and switch up. It`s a big asset.”

That happiness resonates with Tony Washington who works for Martha's Table. He explained to DCW50 that there's a greater need for the products' Support the Girls collects.

“It`s very exciting to see the faces of the women and actually go through the whole bra selection and pick something that they like and see a smile on their face. For a man, I’m like wow what's so exciting? I see now and I understand,” said Tony Washington with Martha’s Table.

Those getting the donations say the community’s support gives women dignity.

“It has a woman feel like, I'm being covered and I'm not out there exposing what I don't want to because of choice, my situation and it build a woman's character,” said Lyles.

The donations also lift their self-esteem. Support the Girls is expanding, with chapters spread across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Australia and Thailand.

“Dana`s efforts are amazing for what she`s accomplished in such a short period of time,” said Washington.

You can be part of this movement by donating to Support the Girls.