Friday, October 9, 2009

"Bra Man" helps out women in need

(Oct 8) - It may be concealed under clothes but the bra is a critical garment that can be expensive to buy, and that people often don't think to donate. Now, a Chicago man is working to change that for women in need. Oz du Soleil runs a charitable effort aimed at collecting new or gently used bras and donating them to lower-income girls and women, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Oz du Soleil's Chicago home is filled with piles of new and used
bras ready to be donated to underprivileged girls and women.

He collects the undergarments through donations via his blog. Du Soleil quickly surpassed his initial goal of 1,000 bras and has since collected more than 3,000 in total. His home is filled with boxes of bras in many colors, style and sizes.
Schools, homeless shelters and churches are among the organizations that have received the donations. He has given away over 1,400 to date.
Getting the word out about his trove can be tricky. "Usually they ask if I'm serious, and then I just tell them I've sent more than 1,400 bras around the world," du Soleil told the Chicago Tribune. "I am careful about it since people do look at you like you're some weirdo."
How did du Soleil come to be known as the "bra man"? He traces the roots of his nonprofit endeavor back to an earlier digital art project where he posted pictures of bras along with their owners' stories. When his girlfriend came across the leftovers, she donated them to a local school.
"I was really moved by the response," du Soleil told the Tribune. "The girls wanted them because most of them had one bra to go to P.E., to parties, to the grocery store, to the doctor. It was about giving them dignity."

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