Every month I feature a way to give back by sharing things I’ve found meaningful to champion. For July 2015 I chose Underwearness. We all know the thrill of receiving something brand new, something given just to us that is just for us. Imagine if that thrill came from something as simple as a brand new pair of underwear.
One night at dinner my brother-in-law told a story that grabbed my heart and would not let go. This is what he told me:
“You thought getting toys with only three wheels was bad, we were so poor that we would be excited to find barely used underwear in the bags of clothes donated by the church.”
“Barely used, you did not get new underwear?” I asked. I was shocked to hear that something as basic as new underwear was not provided in a town much like mine, to kids much like me. The only difference was that they were in circumstances that made them less fortunate. I left that evening feeling sad to know that children grew up with used underwear or no underwear at all.
I carried the vision of these children with me to work the next morning and shared the story with my co-workers. Everyone’s heartstrings were tugged at the same time, and before we knew it we were formulating a plan to make a difference in children’s lives, one pair of underwear at a time! We may not be saving the world, but we can provide children the basic human kindness of being able to open up a new package of underwear that is theirs, and theirs alone. In an astonishingly short period of time, UNDERWEARNESS, Inc. was born.
We have come a long way from that first brainstorming session. We have a Mission, a Strategy, a Board of Directors, a grass roots marketing model, and partners stepping forward to help us make this dream a reality. Each time we tell our story we hear even more stories of all the children and organizations that we can serve. Many hearts have been captured by the simple act of providing new underwear to children. Our fun and creative name adds a light-hearted touch to our efforts so that no child will ever suffer the humiliation of pulling a pair of used underwear out of a bag of donated clothes.
Happy giving, in whatever way you choose to better your world!