Now that’s support: Surrey Women’s Centre hands out nearly 200 donated bras to women in need

'One woman said she had worn the same bra for 20 years, and the one she left here with was the first new bra she’d ever owned'

A recent “Bra Day” event organized by Sonya Perkins

SURREY — Nearly 100 women felt a little more comfortable upon leaving Surrey Women’s Centre on a recent Wednesday, and their stories were compelling.

“One woman said she had worn the same bra for 20 years, and the one she left here with was the first new bra she’d ever owned,” recalled Allison Tanaka, who organized a “Bra Day” event at the centre, where she works as office manager.

Close to 200 bras – two per person – were given to women in need.

But not just any bras – properly fitted ones.

It’s an initiative of Supportive Start, founded in 2014 by Fraser Heights-area resident Sonya Perkins.

New and gently-used bras are donated by customers and suppliers at the Forever Yours Lingerie store she operates in Langley.

For a few hours on Oct. 5, a back room at Surrey Women’s Centre was set up as a bra boutique.

Perkins helped one woman who struggled with English.

“I was kind of fitting her by charades,” Perkins recalled. “She came from Iraq five years ago with the one bra she owned, and it was absolutely in tatters. Going through life with one really bad bra for so long is a very uncomfortable situation.”

SCROLL DOWN TO SEE PHOTOS FROM ‘BRA DAY’ EVENT

The women also took home pairs of panties, “goodie bags” filled with personal-hygiene products and some lunch.

“This was huge for us, and really exciting,” Tanaka said. “It was super busy in here but also very gratifying to see the women leave here so happy with their new bras.”

Perkins said she has sometimes struggled to convince non-profit groups there is no “angle” with the donated bras and free fit clinics.

“We want to give women who are at a difficult spot in their lives an experience that will take them out of their situation, if only for an hour or so, and show them kindness while providing a necessity,” she explained.

“The other thing is, people hear it’s about bras and sometimes it’s automatically sexualized, but it shouldn’t be,” she added. “This is about an essential piece of clothing for women in western culture.”

Details about the initiative are posted at Foreveryourslingerie.ca/supportivestart.

tom.zillich@thenownewspaper.com

Just Posted

Delta man charged in relation to North Delta thefts

Taranjot Singh Grewal, 40, of Delta, is facing five theft-related charges

PSA ad campaign targets young women involved with gangs

Crime Stoppers campaign encourages girls to reject being lured into the gangster lifestyle

White Rock to allow dogs on promenade

Plans for a one-year pilot program would continue to ban canines on waterfront from May to August

Row, row, row your car, down a Surrey road

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s raining outside

In split vote, Surrey council gives early nod to draft budget

Councillors Locke, Pettigrew, Hundial and Annis vote against capital program

Heavy rain, wind cause power outages in White Rock

Chance of showers throughout the evening

France shooting: 2 dead, several wounded in Strasbourg

A world-famous Christmas market was put on lock down on Tuesday

Canadian warship witnesses possible violations of North Korea sanctions

Crew members on HMCS Calgary took photos and collected other information

Christine Sinclair named Canadian Women’s player of the year again

This is the 14th time Sinclair has been named player of the year

B.C. man wants trapping laws changed after dog killed

Louis Seguin’s 10-month-old Australian shepherd died in a body-gripping trap last month

Nearly 8,000 homeless in B.C., first province-wide count reveals

Twenty-four seperate counts in B.C. cities found there are thousands of homeless in all corners of province

UPDATE: Highway 1 closed near Revelstoke

A vehicle incident has closed Highway 1 in both directions

Inquest scheduled into death of man in prison for gang-related killing

Gurwinder Mann, 39, died in Abbotsford while serving life sentence

Most Read