Supporting The Girls

Supporting the Girls is dedicated to increasing the self esteem of disadvantaged girls and women by providing them with new bras through various charities and shelters. Supporting the Girls also adds handwritten notes of affirmation, tied to each bra with a ribbon. Every girl needs to know how beautiful and valuable she is, and Supporting the Girls hopes to give this knowledge to as many people as possible. While we cannot always change the situation in which we find many girls and women, we can empower each one of them to view her life differently and be the best she can be, wherever she might find herself in life. 

This nonprofit organization was founded in 2012 by two teenage girls who are members at Church of the Messiah, Hartlee Johnston and Sarah Leonard.  

In the Fall of 2010, Sarah and Hartlee volunteered in the “Santa Shop” at the Church for All People in downtown Columbus. The Santa Shop is an annual event in which the families regularly receiving aid from the church and its Free Store can get Christmas presents for their children. The gifts are divided into age and gender categories, and along with toys and school supplies, each child receives a new outfit, including a set of new socks and underwear. They noticed that, in the 11-13 year old female category, there were no bras. These teenage girls were getting new clothes and other gifts, but they would get no bras.

The next Thanksgiving, in 2011, Hartlee’s parents gave each member of her family $100. It had to be gone by Christmas, and it had to be used to bless someone. Thinking back to the Santa Shop the year before, Hartlee contacted its coordinators and asked if they still had a need for new bra donations, and how many girls were registered in the age category 11-13. It was a need which had never fit in the church’s budget. There were 49 girls registered from ages 11-13. With $100, they managed to buy 51 bras. Every girl between ages 11 and 13 registered for the Santa Shop in 2011 received a new bra.  Soon after in early 2012, Supporting the Girls was founded.

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