A CLEANOUT of an underwear drawer in Barraba will mean a lift for women in Vanuatu.
Barraba woman Karen Bishton has rallied the troops and, with help from Elise McLennan in Bingara, has collected more than 850 bras for women in need.
Mrs Bishton said she attended a conference in Sydney that had a part on social justice and how women can play their part in helping underprivileged people.
“They were talking about what we can do when we go back to our little town,” she said.
“A little while after that, I was going through my drawer and was taking out bras I never wore and put the bras to the side and thought ‘I’ll get to it later and do something about that’. I went onto Google and found the Uplift bra project.”
That began a couple of months of co-ordination of drop-off points
in Barraba and Bingara, publicising the charity through Mrs Bishton’s yoga classes and Mrs McLennan’s fitness classes in Bingara.
“We had such a huge response and got lots of people involved – old and young,” Mrs Bishton said.
Mrs Bishton said bras came through her daughters’ school, Calrossy, and from as far afield a England, Brisbane and Canberra.
“Just because people heard of it through friends of friends and I was amazed,” she said.
“Some people don’t try bras on when they buy them, so they get home and they don’t fit or they don’t like them, so we’ve got bras that have got tags on them that are absolutely brand new.”
The yoga instructor said the project had also raised awareness of how lucky peopleare and that there are women out there who don’t have bras and the issues that can cause for them.
The campaign ran for about seven weeks with the organisers hoping to collect a couple of hundred bras; they have been overwhelmed with its success.
“I thought a couple of hundred, but we got that in the first couple of weeks, so I stopped counting at 400,” Mrs Bishton said.
“I had bags and bags and bags of bras in the bedroom, then I had to move them into the bath and the bathroom was full of bras.
“Now my kids can have a bath again instead of a shower.”
The bras will join others that are being collected in Tamworth and will give a lift to women in Vanuatu when they are delivered in September to Port Vila Red Cross.