Bras providing 'lift' in self-esteem for women in need

January 19, 2017 06:09 PM

TROY - Wilhemina Hicks loves helping women at the YWCA in Troy succeed. She teaches computer and business classes.

However, a month ago, Hicks got a "lift" herself. She and the women living at the YWCA received new bras. Just and undergarment, right? No, not for Hicks.

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"It gives you self-esteem," Hicks explained.

The idea was the brainchild of Marion Roach-Smith. Christmas 2015, she adopted a family at the YWCA.

"The woman requested for herself only one thing. It said, ‘a bra’," noted Roach-Smith. "In parenthesis, in her own handwriting, it said, ‘I don’t have any,’ and I thought, ‘What?’"

WEB EXTRA: Marion Roach-Smith on feedback from grateful bra recipients

While the YWCA does a lot for the women living there, it does not give out bras and doesn't accept used undergarments, so Roach Smith, a writer, decided to combine the art writing with the spirit of giving.

The result was "Brava" a fundraiser where guests are asked to donate a new bra and where artists use the power of the pen.

In two years, 1,000 new bras were donated, changing the lives of the women who gave them and women who received them, like Hicks.

"When I put it on it was like, ‘Wow, it actually fits,’" beamed Hicks.


WNYT Staff

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