Oiselle’s Bras for Girls Program has had a great spring! We’ve given away almost 1,000 bras to middle school age girls and are planning to donate more than 4,000 bras in 2018! If you have a program you think would benefit from breast development education and free sports bras, please nominate them here. A big thank you to our Volée team for supporting Bras for Girls! Hear from some of our recipient programs on their experiences.
Cascade Middle School Track and Field (Susie Lutz):
As a PE teacher at Cascade, I am always thinking of ways to build confidence in our young ladies and student-athletes. When I was young, I went through the same growing pains that many of my students are experiencing today, so it inspires me when I see companies like Oiselle “paying it forward” for these young ladies. Oiselle is a forward-thinking company that identified the need for building-up our young ladies’ confidence, by donating sports bras to young female athletes. Because of Oiselle’s generosity of donating a well-made physical support garment, they have actually facilitated a process for emotional support and health support too, that may result in a lifetime of improved health. They have honestly liberated so many of my students, by donating a product to our school that enables confidence within my students to run with their awesome, brand new, sport bras! This year, our ladies varsity track team had the biggest turn-out we have ever seen. Our 7thand 8thgrade track team were all smiles after feeling the comfort of a reliable sports bra during extended periods of high activity. I know not all of my student-athletes may not continue their journeys in Track and Field, but simply because Oiselle provided these young ladies with a confidence builder that promotes health and activity, maybe they will have the confidence to take on other adventures; such as 5K fun runs, cross country, and maybe even some will challenge themselves to run a marathon one day!!
REI/ Gritty Girls presentation (Volée Leader Sara Daum):
It was a fantastic experience! We enjoyed meeting the REI staff, Athleta staff, and Kim from Girls Leadership. The girls and their mothers were so excited to see us that many came up to the table before the presentation to hear about what we were doing and ask when they'd be able to get their own bras. We took that opportunity to hand out pamphlets and talk about Oiselle. After Kim's presentation, we gave a quick overview of Bras for Girls (especially why it exists). I asked each Volée member present to say briefly what the biggest thing they've gotten out of sports is. For me, I said that running is my practice believing in myself! Running helps me tackle goals that scare me, and I get to remember on a daily basis that I can do hard things. Others identified lifelong friends made through sports, connections to the community, time to enjoy the outdoors, and feeling happier. When the girls were released from the presentation we had a rush. When possible, we let the girls choose which color they wanted - some wanted bright pink and orange, and some specifically asked for plain muted colors. Time flew by and the event was over before we knew it. Thank you again for the opportunity to be a part of this! It was so impactful to be able to directly see where our team funds go, and to get to share our love of sports and adventure.
Jen Hawley Price: Students Run Chicago
Oiselle’s Bras For Girls program recently inspired student runners and triathletes from Chicago to talk openly and honestly about breasts and body image, building confidence while learning about breast health and getting fitted for a sports bra.
Illinois Volée Leaders Jen Hawley Price, Ali Schultz, and Kristine Burgess distributed sports bras to Students Run Chicago and Student Tri Chicago, mentorship-based athletic programs that transform lives by inspiring students to achieve goals and learn life skills while training for and completing the Chicago Marathon or the Chicago Triathlon. Most participants have little to no previous running or sports-related experience and tackle marathon or triathlon training while managing to keep up with a busy school schedule.
At the Bras For Girls event, there was a great deal of open and honest discussion. Each student shared why they decided to participate in the marathon or triathlon training programs. One student shared how she decided to train for her first marathon because she has given up on many other activities in her life, and this is the thing she doesn’t want to quit.
Body image and media portrayal of female athletes was discussed. The group quickly came to the consensus that the women they see running up and down Chicago’s Lakefront Trail or lining up on race day look far different than what we see in magazines or on social media. Our sports are diverse, and we left our Bras For Girls discussion determined to keep them diverse and celebrate all who participate; regardless of color, shape, size or athletic ability.
We talked breast health and development before fitting the students for sports bras. New Oiselle sports bras paired with great conversation provided a transformational confidence boost for each of the students. They left the Bras For Girls event “head up, wings out,” showing off their new bras and filled with energy and excitement for their training season.
Thank you to Oiselle and Oiselle Volée members. You make a difference -- the portion of your membership that supports programs like Bras For Girls is having a significant impact.