Bra project for low-income women lands in Fredericton

    Monica, left, and Valeria Boquin are two student volunteers with the Lift The Bra Project, an initiative started in Toronto. (Aaron Sousa/AQ)

    A Toronto-based project that helps low-income women find bras and binders has come to Fredericton. Lift: The Bra Project, founded by Michelle Cinapri in Toronto, has three drop-off locations in Fredericton where some St. Thomas University students volunteer their time to help.

    The project was brought to New Brunswick by Nicole Ruth who requested student volunteers to help. Valeria and Monica Boquin, two St. Thomas University students from Honduras, are volunteers.

    “We said yes because it sounded like a noble cause that was going to help other women,” said Monica. “It’s a very small issue in comparison with everything else, but [bras] can make a very big impact in someone’s life.”

    The twins keep the bras in their house where they wash them and conduct “the best friend test.” Monica said if the bra is in good enough shape to give to your best friend then it’s good enough to donate.

    According to the Lift website, around 13.8 per cent of women struggle with financial situations.

    Valeria said the project allowed her to see how bras can affect someone’s self-esteem, opportunities and mental and physical health. She said wearing a bra can give someone the confidence and security they need.

    “We just feel like we are empowering each other as well,” said Valeria.

    Despite the project only recently expanding, Valeria and Monica have high hopes for the future. Valeria said Lift hopes to continue expanding to other organizations and she thinks the project will eventually expand to include other New Brunswick cities.

    New Brunswickers can drop off any bras or binders at the Purrfect Cup Café, My Closet Consignment and Nashwaak Villa.

    Since the project launched, Monica said the community’s been supportive and willing to donate without questioning what the project is.

    “You never know, I might be in that situation as well one day,” said Valeria.