SGA accepting donations for women in need


Ryan Fischer

Bras donated to the Free The Girls bra drive, February 4, 2016.

The Marshall University Student Government Association is currently accepting donations for “Mardi Bras,” a Charleston YWCA personal care collection drive that asks for donated bras, underwear and feminine products to help women in need.

The Mardi Bras event will take place Feb. 9 and will offer entertainment, food, information and door prizes for those attending. The YWCA and event coordinators are also collaborating with East Coast Tees to have shirts for the first 200 attendees.

Kate Flack, development director of the YWCA of Charleston said she hopes the event will build a network for likeminded people who care about the issues women face, such as domestic violence and homelessness. According to Flack, everyone is encouraged to attend.

“It can range from young people and adults, from men to women,” Flack said. “The women who organized it said that they’ve actually had a lot of interest from males to bring donations.”

Flack said the idea for Mardi Bras didn’t stem directly from the YWCA, but instead from members of the community who recognized the need for these gifts. Community members reached out to the YWCA and spread the word through social media, garnering statewide donations for women in the shelters.

According to Kate Flack, women frequently need these types of items when they stay at the shelters.

“The women who come to these shelters, sometimes they are leaving very dangerous situations at home and there’s not time to pack a bag,” Flack said. “So this is an incredible idea with true compassion.”

SGA senator, Allison Epling spearheaded the association’s involvement with the drive. Epling said she became interested in Mardi Bras after the event was shared by her friends on social media. Epling said she decided to present it to SGA as their first community service activity of the spring semester.

Epling said she was also interested in the event from the perspective of a women’s rights activist and someone who likes helping people.

“I know it’s their first annual event,” Epling said. “So I’m trying to help them out and get people involved with it.”

Anyone can donate to the drive, including non-student Cabell county residents. Epling said those interested in donating can attend the event or leave donations in a box located in the SGA office in the Memorial Student Center.

Those donating are encouraged to include their name, phone number, email and mailing address with their donations so that the YWCA can send them an in-kind donation form and a thank you card.

Jared Casto can be contacted at [email protected]