CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. – Aurora, a fair trade women's gift shop located at 1 King St. in Chappaqua, is accepting bra donations on behalf of a worldwide program aiming to rescue women from sex trafficking.
A small Denver-based program, dubbed Free The Girls, provides job opportunities to women rescued from sex trafficking through the channel of second-hand clothing, a profitable market in many countries.
One of the market's best sellers? Bras.
Some women from Free The Girls are making five times the minimum wage in their communities by selling used bras. When Aurora owner Dawn Greenberg caught wind of the program and those statistics, she was intrigued.
“I saw it on CNN and thought it was a really cool concept,” she said. “Who would have thought bras could help people?”
Aurora is the only Free The Girls drop-off location in all of New York State. After only a few days of collecting bras, Chappaqua residents are looking generous.
“We already have over 30 bras, and that’s just after two days,” Aurora employee Lisa Barnes said.
The bras will be sent to Mozambique as part of CNN’s “Mozambique Or Bust” campaign, which is a follow-up to stories CNN did on Free The Girls last year.
Here are some Free The Girls facts to give an idea of how far a donated bra can go:
- Second-hand clothing is a $1 billion a year industry.
- Women can include notes to the survivors with their donation of bras.
- Selling bras provides a flexible schedule for women who want to return to school.
- Women from more than 25 states and countries have donated more than 74,000 bras.
- Free The Girls accept bras of all shapes, sizes and colors—including athletic bras, camisoles and nursing bras.
- If a survivor needs bras of her own, she may keep some of what Free The Girls sends their way.
- Free The Girls donates shirts and bras to domestic survivors in the United States.
Aurora plans to accept bra donations for the next few weeks, and possibly longer, depending on the donations.
“It always feels good to do something for people,” said Barnes. “Dawn is always trying to give something back.”
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