Sep 26, 18
Support Beyond the Bra - Dégagé Ministries
SHEFIT partners with local charity, to help provide women in need with bras.
We are proud to stand with Dégagé Ministries, who have been providing support to the people of Grand Rapids for fifty years.
For the second time, SHEFIT has partnered with local charity, Dégagé Ministries, to help provide women in need with bras. According to the Grand Rapids Coalition to End Homelessness, 700-800 people are considered homeless within the city. “Many of [the women] just kind of found themselves in this situation. It was not life-long poverty. They feel invisible like nobody sees them at all,” says Kari Sherman, Open Door Manager at Dégagé.
In 1967, the organization began as a coﬀeehouse ministry catering to college students in the basement of the Salvation Army building. Currently, it serves on average 400-500 people a day with meals, housing, health needs, job searches, identiﬁcation help, and more. When it comes to women’s needs, it can seem like a diﬃcult thing to ask for. “Women have diﬀerent needs. We have to have a bra. It’s hard to ask for those things. It feels so demeaning,” Sherman explained.
At SHEFIT, our mission is to support women. We believe bras shouldn’t discriminate and should be as unique as the women that wear them. We felt a responsibility to use our tools to reach out within our community and support those who need it most. Further, we wanted to do more than give a handout, but wanted to make sure the bras fit the women comfortably as well. SHEFIT’S Fit Team arrived on-site downtown to welcome the women to Dégagé and help the women into the bras. Women started to arrive, some visibly nervous about getting fit for a bra. After chatting with the team and understanding the importance of support, the emotions began to rise. One woman beamed, “I haven’t [been fit for a bra] in a long time, like 20 years. It felt good, obviously. It made me feel good.”
This experience was equally as rewarding for the SHEFIT team members. “It was a rewarding experience to know we were helping women who were truly in need,” Maria from SHEFIT observed. “I could see the excitement in their faces when they were properly sized and it made me feel good knowing they were walking away with a necessity that they didn’t have previously.”
"When you have a new bra and it fits and it's comfortable, it's not something you have to be thinking about. You can be focused moving forward," Sherman emphasized.
To see our team in action and learn more about our time at Dégagé Ministries head here.