Lending support: Indiana woman collects thousands of bras for the homeless

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — An Indianapolis woman’s New Year’s resolution is making headlines.

In less than seven weeks, Rachael Heger has already gathered more than 2,000 bras and she says it’s all to raise awareness about the needs of the homeless that people tend to forget.

“I have everything from 32A to 44DDD,” Heger said. “And they’re all needed.”

Heger’s bra collecting effort is almost a full-time job. She manages bra mail, she has bra laundry, and then she skillfully sorts the smoothing shape-wear. Heger is a librarian by trade and says those organizing skills really help with the process.

“I put them in bags, individually labeled, and so these are making it as easy as possible for people to then be able to get them out of here,” Heger said.

More than 1,000 bras have already been dropped off as donations to shelters like Dayspring Center, Project Home Indy, and Horizon House.

“It was a lot of bras,” Lori Casson, Dayspring Center Executive Director, said as she laughed.

Casson said homeless women often need help obtaining items like bras and underwear when they come to the shelter.

“Everything you used this morning in order to prepare for your day is exactly what our families need,” Casson said.

Casson said that includes full-size hygiene items like shampoo, diapers and wipes for babies, and even tampons and pads. Those are all items severely under-donated to shelters.

“A lot of places have to ration how many you would receive and they can be pricey if you have no money and you’re hungry,” Heger said.

That’s why Hegar is expanding Support the Girls – Indianapolis to include these items. Already this month she donated nearly 3,500 feminine hygiene products to the Julian Center.

“I’m just overwhelmed with how great this is,” Heger said.

Hegar plans to drop off about 500 bras to Outreach Inc. on Wednesday.

She accepts donations through the mail and has also set up several drop-off locations throughout the nine central Indiana counties. Public drop off locations are at Suzy’s Consign in Avon, Crosspoint Church in Fishers, 185 Promotions and Apparel in Carmel, Sign of the Tymes Salon in Glendale and Theatre on the Square on Mass Ave.

Heger initially wanted to collect 3,500 bras by her 35th birthday, which is in December, but now she’s pushing up that goal (pun intended) and would like to gather 10,000 or even 20,000 by the end of the year. She’s already collected about 2,300.

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