The Underwear-ness Project

This past January, during one of the coldest camp-outs of my life, I read a magazine on one of my husband’s techno gadgets (a tablet or Nexus or something.) This issue was one that he’d downloaded for free from our public library–hip, hip, hooray for the public library!

In this magazine, I read an article (you can click here to read the article for yourself)  about a charity called Underwear-ness. Started by two women who discovered that some disadvantaged children do not have basic underclothes to wear, these women decided to “help children one pair at a time,” as their tagline states. Underwear is the least donated item of clothing to shelters and such, and many parents who struggle with making ends meet must choose between rent and food. Or outer clothing and under clothing.

As a mother, pondering this makes my heart ache. Ache for parents who have to make such wrenching choices–and ache for the children who must surely feel the shame of having to do without under garments.

So, huddled under my sleeping bag, wearing long johns beneath my sweatpants and two pairs of socks, I decided that collecting underwear would be our next family giving project.

We sold some things at a few consignment stores (Plato’s Closet and two different locations of Style Encore) to raise money to make the purchases, and then we shopped. A family from our home school co-op pitched in a pack of boys’ underwear. This along with what our family bought added up to over 50 pairs.

Packs of pairs, all in a jumble.
Packs of pairs, all in a jumble.

Then came the challenging part:  finding a ministry in our area that would distribute these to kids in need. The Underwear-ness offices suggested that I not spend money to mail the donations to their location in Colorado (wise advice), but they didn’t have connections to a charity in Orlando. I contacted a children’s home but didn’t get a helpful response. Then I reached out to the Orlando Union Rescue Mission. Their donations coordinator eagerly and quickly answered that they would appreciate the gift of these items.

Today–since I had access to our family car and a wide-open afternoon–I loaded up my boys and drove downtown to the Mission and delivered the goods. My boys and I prayed for each child who would wear one of these pairs–that God would speak to their hearts and show them His love and hope.

Neatly stacked and ready for delivery.
Neatly stacked and ready for delivery.

As a “project person,” I love to start new projects; I also love to see projects come to fruition. Especially one that I believe will bless children in need while also allowing my own children to connect with other people’s needs.

Are you pursuing any kind of giving project of your own? Please share–I always appreciate inspiration!

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