Local woman turns hobby into full-time service project; continues to collect bras, tampons

Rachael Heger uses her basement to organize bras and menstrual items for women in need. (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — One year ago, we introduced you to an Indianapolis woman with a goal to collect as many bras as possible. It wasn’t a weird obsession, it was an effort to make sure all Hoosier women had the proper undergarments, even those who couldn’t afford them. Since then, she’s gathered more than 10,000 bras and her work has expanded to include menstrual items as well.

“Can you imagine what it would be like if you didn’t have a bra that fit you for a job interview or if you had your period and you didn’t have access to a pad or a tampon?”

It’s a message Rachael Heger said quickly that resonated with not only women in Indianapolis, but is spreading across the country.

“This has exploded,” Heger said.

10,000 bras have been donated to organizations and 40,000 pads and tampons too. Within just months of starting a local chapter, Heger is now a leader in the international organization of Support the Girls.

“We collect everything from training bras, nursing bras, mastectomy bras, pretty bras, sports bras, functional bras and I have received bras from brand new training bras up to I believe the biggest size I’ve received to date is an L cup,” Heger said. “Here’s like a J cup bra, this one is actually new with tags.”

The bras first came from neighbors, family, and friends, but now Heger receives them from complete strangers on a daily basis. Her basement, once a play room, is now an office and bra haven.

“There’s lot and lots and lots over here. And then in here, I collect loose pads and tampons as well as full packages, so if people buy a brand that they don’t like or they have some extras left over, go ahead and I take these extras, because so long as they’re individually wrapped, like all of these, they can still be passed on,” Heger said.

It was a hypothetical hobby at the start of 2016, but it’s her life’s work, a full-time service project she says she intends to continue as long as possible.

“I’ve never been so optimistic and so thankful to so many hoosier women,” Heger said.

To learn more about how to donate or even hold a bra drive, visit the Support the Girls – Indianapolis Facebook page.

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