Meet The “Bra Fairy,” Who Helps Homeless Women Navigate Female Issues

Friday, March 04, 2016 |
According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, there were 564,708 homeless people on any given night in January 2015. Many of these people live on the streets, sleep on the hard ground and constantly search for food. But for homeless women, there are other difficult challenges to consider — like what happens when they don’t have a proper bra to wear? What happens when they get their periods?

Many homeless women can’t afford food and housing, let alone necessary feminine items like bras and menstrual hygiene products. Yet, these products are essential not only for health reasons but also for any woman to feel good about herself. That’s where a woman named Dana Marlowe enters the picture.

Dana, a mother of two little boys in Washington DC, is known to many in her community as “the bra fairy.” From sports bras and nursing bras to tampons and camisoles, Dana collects and donates thousands of undergarments and feminine hygiene products for homeless women. It all began when she lost 35 pounds, decided to donate them to homeless women, and created a Facebook page where other women caught on and sent Dana their own, in all sizes and styles. To date, Dana has donated more than 8,000 bras and nearly 30,000 feminine hygiene products. “Seeing their smile and how appreciate they are, that can energize me for weeks to come,” Dana says. “It’s not solving the world’s problems with the snap of a bra, but it helps a little bit.”

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