Last Sunday morning, Debbie, Jason, and I loaded my brother’s brand new Dodge Avenger with the 271 bras donated by our customers as well as blog readers across the nation for an afternoon fit event at the T.R.O.S.A rehabilitation center in Durham. Fortunately, his car has a ton of trunk space; otherwise, we would have needed to tie Aunt D to the roof. Per our discussion with the event coordinators, we planned to arrive at 1:30 to give us a half hour to set up the bras for the two hour long event. We expected between 20 and 35 women to attend the event and estimated that two hours would give everyone time for a quick fitting, especially since we could only pull from the bras we brought with us.
When we arrived at the center, the ladies of T.R.O.S.A, including Susan and Cassandra who helped make the event possible, greeted us with smiles and helped us unload the massive amount of bras from my brother’s car. The area where we would perform fittings was a recreational room along a long corridor which ultimately led to the waiting area near the entrance of the facility. Almost as soon as we arrived, women began dropping by to ask when we would be ready to begin the fittings. Sensing a rush, the three of us worked at breakneck speed to unload and organize the bras. Fortunately, my aunt had zip tied sizes together earlier that week, so it only took us around 15 minutes to be ready to go.
After a quick jaunt to the car for my water bottle, I was ready to begin with my first fitting. I did not leave that room again for several hours. My aunt and I assumed the rapid efficiency of a doctor’s office with me finishing up a fitting with one lady, and my aunt returning to the seating area to call out “Next!” Yes, you can just call us the Fit Doctors now. Theme song coming soon.
In the past when we have hosted fitting parties or attended events to perform free fittings, we were lucky to see ten people. From my previous conversations, I knew to plan for at least twenty, but I also wanted to leave information behind for the other women currently in the program as well as those who may join in the coming months. As a result, we printed 100 cards with a truncated advice on how to find a starting point bra size with the intention of leaving them so the ladies who missed the event could fit themselves.
Well, let’s just say there were a lot more than 20 people there. In fact, I’d say that nearly every woman in the program showed up at one point, so by the time four thirty rolled around, we still had 35 women to go and had to start taking the ladies in pairs. Ultimately, I gave a quick lesson to Susan and Cassandra about how to help the rest of the women because I knew we wouldn’t be able to stay for everyone. I was disappointed that we needed to leave before finishing, but by 7p.m, we were tired and hungry. Not to mention, my poor dad spent all that time either sitting in the car or walking around downtown Durham for the Earth Day festival. I think when we left, Susan and Cassandra only had 10-15 more to go, and I’d love to go back later in the summer to fit the ladies we missed and to check on everyone’s progress.
Without question, everyone I met at T.R.O.S.A was amazing. The ladies were kind, sweet, funny, and warm, and I enjoyed chatting with them and explaining how bras and bra sizing worked. They also embodied the fullest definition of grateful. Many of these women come to the program without a bra, and if there are no donations in their size, they have to do without until one becomes available. Not to mention, many of the ones who did have bras were not in the right size or the bras were falling apart on them at the seams. As a result, for them to not only be able to find a bra in the right size but also ones which was gently used or new was a wonderful experience. They each left with smiles on their faces and new bras to replace their old ones. This was truly an instance where I can tell you that your donation directly impacted a woman’s life and made her feel happier and more confident. To all of you who donated, you made a real difference on Sunday, and Debbie, Jason, the women of T.R.O.S.A and myself cannot thank you enough.
However, with that said, the ladies still need more. Some of the women were in sizes we did not have, and so we had to engage in the dreaded “sister sizing” in order to find them something. While those bras will work for now, it would be great to get them bras the next time around in their proper size. Below is a list of where we have some serious deficits:
- 30D, 30DD, 32B, 32C, 32D, 32DD, 34A
- 34C, 34DD, 36C, 36D, 36DD, 36DDD
- 34F, 34FF, 36F, 36FF
- 38C, 38D, 38DD, 38DDD
- 40DD, 40DDD, 42D, 42DD
- 42F, 42FF, 44E
- 46F, 46FF
Most of the ladies prefer padded bras if possible (I am renaming us from “Land of the T-Shirts” to “Land of the Nipple Fear”), but they love all colors and prints. Furthermore, they need sports bras. Lots and lots of sports bras. We had a couple of those donated, and they were snatched up quickly. Even the standard S-M-L style sports bras would be appreciated. Many of these women work out daily or work jobs that are better suited for a sports bra.
Despite being exhausted by the time we arrived home, the experience was incredibly positive, and I am glad we had the opportunity to help. Keep those donations coming, and again, thank you for your generosity!
Erica, Debbie, and Jason