Bras for Girls Launches as 501c3 Non-Profit Organization
April 21, 2022
Organization Seeks Donors and Sponsors to Help Provide Bras to Middle School Girls
SEATTLE, WA – APRIL 21, 2022/SPORTSWIRE WOMEN/ – Bras for Girls has formally launched as a 501c3 non-profit organization. The mission originated in 2017 as an internal giveback initiative for Oiselle, a women’s running apparel company that aims to increase girls’ and women’s participation in movement. As of today, the organization is a stand-alone entity open to donations and partnerships with brands looking to further the mission of getting bras to middle school girls.
In 2016, the Portsmouth University “Bra Lab” in the UK published a comprehensive schoolgirl survey that found 46% of girls reported their breasts negatively affected their sports and exercise participation, and more than 50% of girls did not wear a sports bra with exercise. The rate of dropping out of favorite sports activities was higher for girls who were in lower economic circumstances.
The mission of Bras For Girls is to donate sports bras to late elementary to middle school girls – an age at which some choose to stop participating in sport due to discomfort with their changing bodies. In addition to bra donation, Bras For Girls’ goal is to share educational content with a wide spectrum of girls and women about body development and how to accurately choose and fit a sports bra.
“We are so motivated to continue building the Bras for Girls momentum,” said Sarah Lesko, Bras for Girls Executive Director. “We’ve heard a strong message from girls, coaches, and programs: bras and breast development booklets spark a vital conversation that leads to promising and positive outcomes. Once girls feel empowered, there’s no limit to what they can do.”
To date, Oiselle has donated over 17,000 bras to middle school girls in need via the Bras for Girls program. While Oiselle plans to remain partners in donating bras to the organization, the formally established non-profit status allows for an open door policy for brand partnerships.
“What began as a creative way to match two needs – to reduce our overstock in bra inventory and a desire to find a way to support girls to stay active in sport during a pivotal time in their athletic interest and physical development – Bras for Girls turned into an opportunity that will now have a greater impact to operate as an independent charity,” said Oiselle CEO, Sally Bergesen. “With Dr. Lesko as the Executive Director, Bras for Girls is in great hands to take this next step in living out its mission. Her expertise as a doctor, experience as a collegiate athlete and middle school coach, combined with her passion to make a difference in the lives of young girls so they too, can continue pursuing their love of sports is exciting for all of us. I’m proud of the work we’ve done as a brand and am grateful for her leadership and tenacity in growing Bras For Girls to what it is today. We at Oiselle are eager and excited to continue our partnership and support of this unique and much needed service for the future of sport.”
About Bras for Girls
Bras for Girls donates new, high quality sports bras and breast development education booklets to girls in need, ages 8-18. Recipient programs include sports teams, school programs, community programs, and other initiatives that elevate girls’ access to sports. If your school or program could benefit from high quality sports bras, please nominate your team or group. To learn more about financial or in kind donations visit https://www.brasforgirls.org
Oiselle is a women’s athletic apparel company that balances community and design. Following its first quest to create non-poofy shorts in 2007, the company has grown steadily as an independent brand that now designs and distributes a full range of competition and lifestyle apparel, online and at its University Village flagship store in Seattle. The company sponsors world-class athletes, has a virtual and IRL community for women athletes called the Volée, and gives back to communities in need through its Bras for Girls sports bra donation program. Oiselle is headquartered in Magnuson Park, Seattle, Washington. Follow Oiselle on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.