UConn Stamford students Trystan Rodriguez and Jennifer Zepeda, partnered with The Undies Project’s Lucy Langley and Laura Delaflor to provide an opportunity for the student body to donate undergarments for underprivileged children.
In 2014, Langley realized that underwear was the most under-donated item of clothing while volunteering for Neighbor to Neighbor, a local non-profit organization that provides clothing and food to low-income residents. As a result, Langley partnered with Delaflor to start The Undies Project in November 2015.
After receiving many donations, The Undies Project Inc. became an official non-profit organization in November 2016.
Their main mission is to provide new, unused underwear to men, women, and children in need but also educate the community about the reality of this unmet need.
Rodriguez initially learned about The Undies Project through an article on Facebook, shared by a high school friend and daughter of Delaflor. Rodriguez says, “I was so moved by all the work they do for people in our local communities. I thought it was such a great idea because essential items like underwear and bras don’t come cheap and many people cannot afford those necessities.”
She immediately contacted Langley and Delaflor in order to set up an undies drive at UConn Stamford, where students and faculty could donate underwear, socks, bras, and more.
Rodriguez also had the help of a club she and Zepeda lead, Zero Tolerance, which aids in the fight against violence based on gender and sexuality.
“Trystan and I went to the majority of our classrooms to spread awareness about the Undies Project and the drive at our school. We were even invited by other professors to come to their classrooms to talk about our undies drive. Our goal was to get as many people to donate to this good cause and educate them,” Zepeda said.
Zepeda and Rodriguez’s efforts were fruitful as they were able to fill multiple bins with clothing for young children within just two weeks. Students and faculty even donated toys for the children.
“You can’t imagine how thrilled we were to receive such a large number of donations through the generosity of the UConn Stamford community. It is truly heartwarming. Thank you all for your kindness!” Langley said.
“It is the enthusiasm and support of people like Trystan and Jennifer that truly make a difference in the lives of others less fortunate, Delaflor said. “We could not fulfill our mission without them.”
Currently, The Undies Project Inc. distributes all their donations to multiple organizations such as Clothes to Kids of Fairfield County, Kids in Crisis, Neighbor to Neighbor, Person to Person, YWCA Domestic Abuse Services, and more.