Our history

This program came into existence after a meeting of the Central Chapter of the Episcopal Diocese of Iowa in September 2012. The church in Dubuque shared that they ran an annual campaign, in their church, to collect underwear and donate it to those in need. After the meeting it was decided that Davenport should also put together such a campaign, however it needed to be larger than one individual church in Davenport. A team was assembled and it was decided that we would collect undershirts, underpants, bras and socks for women, children, and men (to include winter underwear). The underwear committee was formed and developed a written community ministry plan, planned and conducted the 2012 campaign.  The committee decided to add the collection of prosthetic bras in 2013 and would provide them to Always a Women for usage. While no cash was collected in 2012, it was determined that if any donated cash was received, it would be used to purchase additional underwear and not to cover our expenses. All cash collected from individual donors was used to purchase additional underwear. In 2014 we received two grants, one of which was to be used exclusively for the purchase of underwear and the other was not restricted. A small amount of funds was retained from 2014 to purchase underwear during the year and to assist in becoming independent non-profit. We have completed the process of becoming a nonprofit. During 2015 we received several large donations/grants to purchase new underwear with and fund the emergency program.  During the 2014 campaign, a new program was added, an emergency underwear. There was one instance where the program was utilized in 2014. We provided underwear to 31 individuals during 2015 fiscal year. The program continued to expand in FY2016 and has provide underwear to approximately 100 people in FY2017.  Initially all publicity was word of mouth and has expanded over the subsequent campaigns to include posters, flyers, radio and television public service announcements. Moody radio has held a “live remote” to promote the campaign during the first two years. In 2014 we were a featured by the national Episcopal Church 2014 outreach web site. Our first campaign we collected approximately 2200 items and distributed to 9 organizations that provided services to the needy and homeless   The 2015 campaign formally kicked off on October 1, 2015. The official collection period ended on November 1, Several collection site locations were unable to complete a collection during the formal collection period and have collected at various times during the next six months. As second distribution was made on April 5, 2016 and included three new distribution organizations. The total of all items collected was 9,200 through 26 partner organizations reaching 2,900 individuals  The success of the 2016 campaign resulted in a decision to hold two collections and distributions in 2017, one in the fall of 2015 and a second in the spring of 2017. The fall collection was held form October 1 to November 1, 2017 and resulted in the distribution of 3800 items through 25 organizations that provide underwear to the needy and homeless. We are currently collecting data from our partner organizations on the number of people reached.