Project Uplift calls for old bras

Project Uplift’s Melia Walsh dishing out donated bras to a Fijian recipient last year. Photo: supplied.

Project Uplift is calling out for all Western Bay of Plenty and Tauranga women to donate their old, unused or unwanted bras to gift to less fortunate ladies and girls in the Pacific and South-East Asia.

“Imagine life without a bra?” asks Project Uplift Bay of Plenty organiser Melia Walsh. “Put yourself in their shoes...

“We take it for granted, think of the young girls starting puberty and needing a bra.

"Think about the women who’ve gone through mastectomies and don’t have a bra to support and comfort their breasts after surgery; think about the breastfeeding mothers without maternity bras who are constantly leaking between feeds.”

Melia says bra accessibility and affordability is an ongoing issue in the Pacific.

“There are women out there who have never owned a bra before.”

Yet bras are essential for support, comfort, dignity and to avoid rashes and fungal infections that can occur due to a lack of air circulation.

“Our goal for this year is [to collect] 5000 donated bras…I mean the sky’s the limit, 10,000 bras."

Melia laughs.

Project Uplift is a non-profit organisation that collects second-hand bras and delivers them to 10-11 countries including the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Cambodia and Sri Lanka.

“There is a constant need and we are constantly sending,” says Melia.

Along with normal bras, sport bras, swimwear, mastectomy bras, new underwear are also greatly appreciated. Melia says broken bras are wanted too – as they can be used to repair other bras.

“We can use the hooks to extend bras so they can be useable, even with weight change.”

Last year Melia took 44kg of bras donated from the BOP community – about several thousand – to Fiji.

“We then sent 4000-5000 to Auckland. This year’s donations will been sent to Auckland to the head organiser for distribution.”

So dig deep into your underwear drawers and donate any old and ill-fitting bras to uplift the lives of ladies across the Pacific.

Western BOP’s Project Uplift donations drop-off points are: Breast Cancer Support, 53 Fraser St, Tauranga; Melia’s workplace: Metalcraft Roofing, 42 Poturi St, Tauriko; or KiwiSpan 1 Loop Rd, Te Puna; or Athenree Food Exchange, which Melia checks regularly or Melia’s home. Contact Melia to arrange a drop-off on 027 9333079.

Find out more at: or search ‘Project Uplift’ on Facebook.

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