Providing for those in need | Underwear Because We Care

[Music] welcome back to living local it's something most of us take for granted but being able to put on clean undergarments every day but that's not reality for many people in our community who are homeless or in need of these basic necessities a local nonprofit is on a mission to serve these people and you can help joining me in studio have grant Curtis with underwear because we care grant thanks so much for being here thank you for allowing me to come first of all love the name it is very catchy love the rhyme so tell us what's the history behind underwear because we care under or because we care goes back about 3035 years when in a local church a lady stood up one day and said it's my birthday and let me tell you what I want for my birthday I want your men's clean used but serviceable underwear of course everybody in church roared that day when they heard that but but thummell was a large lady and she went on to say I work with hobos and they frequently don't have any underwear so that was the scenes that started this it went on for a few years and kind of fell by the wayside other people heard it and shared a message and about seven years ago it came back to a group of us and we said you know that's a great idea we should do that but larger than just in a church so that's how it started our first year in two weeks we collected about 2, 000 items through five or six organizations and distributed through 10 partners do you think that people would be surprised about the need in our community for undergarments actually yes I would when the first year we did this you know it's an important mission but it really wasn't brought home till we had the executive director of Kings harvest and the director of Salvation Army say wow what a great mission we have people who don't have any underwear you know I took it for granted till then and that made me stop and think right and obviously you serve people who are homeless yeah but in addition to that there are people out there who are still in need that may not necessarily be homeless that's true and our missions to serve the homeless and needy and and we take advantage of the the community that's there we have partners like well not this year salvation are but Christian care humility of Mary and we have 26 different partners this last fall and winter that we distributed the underwear to who are already providing services to the needy and homeless and so they pass it on to the clients that need it and what specific items are you distributing you know that's a good question because when someone says underwear you think Underpants but what's Underpants undershirts bras and socks those are the primary items that that we collect are you in need of any specific of those items more than the other right now or all of them well we always need all of them but if you're looking for something that we usually come up a little short on kids underwear specifically boys for some reason we don't get a lot of boys underwear you know we're blessed we have several people who make donations to us we get some grants and we have to use a fair amount of that money to buy kids stuff so if somebody has kids stuff they would like to donate new kids stuff that's the one in particular yes so where are your collection sites around the Quad Cities we have this this spring the Catholic Denari memorial collection we have eight sites we have and I'm probably going to forget one so forgive me if I knew that but st.

Anthony's in Davenport st.

Alphonsus st.

st.

Albans in Davenport Christian Karen Rock Island Bettendorf Financial Group it's some business in Bettendorf that's the collection site for us and I know I'm forgiven we will link to your website so people go on and see exactly where they are so are you looking for more collection sites always yeah I don't think you can ever have enough collection sites so we've been scrambling this spring to find a few more we'd like to have 10 to 12 all together great so how would a location out there get plugged in and become a donation site odds very simple send me an email at underware BWC at gmail.

com now how can people out there take advantage of this program that you offer do you just give it to other organizations who then take care of the distribution we we give it to other organizations we actually have two different programs we're currently running one is kind of a mass distribution that would go through our partners but the other one we have that that I think people have a tendency to lose sight of is we have what we call an emergency program we get a lot of laughs over that because you hear emergency underwear there you go see yeah you know if somebody loses everything in a fire or if a mom and kids or dad and kids have to escape an abusive situation if they have to leave everything behind they haven't need for underwear right now not next week or the week after but right now so our emergency underwear program we ask the organizations that are providing assistance and you don't have to be a partner on the big distribution to do that but we ask them to say here's what we need and we haven't formally asked them to fill out because we're filling size-specific in that particular case and our goal is to fill the need within two to three business days and this year since the first of June we have had 36 requests come in under our emergency program Wow so there's definitely a need here in our community so how can people help support these programs whether it's the emergency kits or the underwear because we care program well again there's two ways they can volunteer and actually we have another program we'd like to bring on board that we just don't have the manpower to because we're a small group we'd like to start a year-round veterans program where we could provide underwear to veterans organizations to provide veterans who need it but other than that you know they can volunteer they can send a donation in they can buy underwear and donate it through one of the drop sites or if they again if they send an email to underwear BWC we'll make arrangements to get it picked up it and and so that's it's something that you can participate in a number of ways we are a 501 C 3 so if someone is interested in wanting that for tax deduction please check with your tax person you know we do qualify so that would be something that that would be available to wonderful grant thank you so much for being here and it's about this amazing program we appreciate it well thank you for the opportunity and I hope everybody feels generous definitely well the the Katie or Kathy done it there's a spring collection drive and that will officially run from April 1st to April 30th donations may be sent to underwear because we care P o box 2 to 4 to 7 for taya WA 5 to 8 0 9 will also have these details posted on our Quad Cities dot-com more living local is coming up right after this.