The campus was peppered with fliers asking for gently used bras last Monday. The Facebook campaign “Bras 4 Cuba” was kicked off in the name of charity.
Louisville seniors Tracy Jo Ingram and Meg Kennedy are collecting “extra feminine” products for a study abroad trip during winter term. In conjunction with the Gender & Women’s Studies program,
Ingram and Kennedy will deliver bras and feminine hygiene products to a rural health clinic in Cuba.
In order to fund the trip, Ingram and Kennedy wrote essays to receive a scholarship from Division of Extended Learning & Outreach, Ingram said.
“On contingency of the DELO scholarship we must complete a service project,” Ingram said.
Because of her passion for women’s rights, she decided to do something for the women of Cuba.
“There are no women shelters,” Ingram said. “We knew we could do the basics — pads, tampons, bras.”
Meg Kennedy said a few acquaintances, who had been to Cuba, expressed a concern for women, saying that it was hard to come by undergarments and even hard to find hygiene products.
The team knew what they wanted to collect — it was just a matter of how to go about it. They came up with the slogan ‘Got bras?’
“We thought about what would be cute to catch eyes,” Kennedy said. “We wanted a DIY look (for the fliers).”
Ingram and Kennedy both said they didn’t know what to expect when they kicked off their campaign.
Once the event hit Facebook, it took off. Ingram said they started hearing from a lot of women. Family members in other states began sending items, and the girls set up several collection areas in Louisville. There is also a sorority at the University of Kentucky that has decided to collect feminine items for Kennedy and Ingram.
“It’s so overwhelming,” Kennedy said.
On campus, collection boxes are located in the Women’s Studies office and the English department’s office. Donors can request special pick-up if they can’t get to a donation box.
“Bras 4 Cuba” isn’t the only service project for Cuba. Another group of students is collecting hotel and sample-sized soaps and shampoos.
“We just thought we would do it all out,” Ingram said.
The pair will be donating all the items to a health clinic in Las Terrazas, Pinar Del Rio.
“We want to collect more than we could ever expect,” Kennedy said.