A junk removal company and a women’s charity might seem like an unlikely partnership. But when Rick Galliher, 1-800-GOT-JUNK? franchise partner for Virginia North, heard about BRAWS (Bringing Resources to Aid Women’s Shelters), he immediately wanted to get involved to support their cause.
BRAWS was founded in 2015 to give women in local homeless shelters access to undergarments and menstrual supplies. The first drive, held in founder Holly Seibold’s home, brought in over 300 brand new bras, underwear, pads and tampons. Seibold thought it would be a one-time thing — but when word got out, other nearby shelters started to reach out in desperate need. Unable to keep up with demand on her own, Seibold turned to her community for support.
Since then, BRAWS has donated over 14,000 items to 45 womens’ and homeless shelters, providing aid to over 4,500 women and girls. Additionally, they have collected and distributed much-needed supplies during disasters like Hurricane Harvey.
“Over the years, I’ve donated to similar charities in countries overseas,” says Rick. “But I didn’t realize that we have many of the same issues here at home.”
On February 23rd, BRAWS will host their annual Mardi Bras Festival. The event, held at the prestigious Westwood Country Club in Virginia, will include hor d’oeuvres, drinks, raffle prizes, silent auction, shopping, live music, and more. Rick’s franchise is a Silver Bead sponsor.
“This is our biggest fundraiser of the year and it has grown exponentially,” says Vice Chair Jennifer Min. “We’re expecting 350 guests, more than we’ve ever had before.”
The event brings in over half the organization’s budget for the year. Money raised goes directly towards the purchase of supplies. Min continues: “None of this would be possible without the support of our local business community.”
Want to read more about BRAWS or learn how to get involved? Visit www.braws.org.