It’s almost May, and The Undies Project is turning its attention to the second year of their Undie Sundays run in collaboration with local area churches, and, new this year, also with synagogues.
Undie Sundays is an opportunity for people to donate new, unused underwear for men, women or children at their place of worship.
All the items collected are distributed through The Undies Project to other non profit organizations that help those in need, such as Neighbor to Neighbor, Kids In Crisis, YWCA Domestic Abuse Services, Inspirica and Pacific House, to name a few.
The Undies Project was created in 2015 by Lucy Langley and Laura Delaflor who realized that underwear was the most under-donated, yet most needed item of clothing.
“It may seem insignificant, and many of us take for granted clean underwear, we don’t even have to think about it, but it can really affect peoples daily lives,” said Langley.
Langley said that there are families who have to make a choice between putting food on the table or purchasing new underwear.
“We are helping them not to have to make that choice,” Delaflor said. “Hygiene and physical comfort are only are part of this basic human need.”
Delaflor said that new underwear also provides dignity and self esteem.
“What we do helps those less fortunate concentrate on the other needs of their families,” she said.
Last year six Greenwich Churches took part in Undie Sundays and collected over 1,400 pairs of underwear to help fulfill the largely unmet need for new, clean underwear for our low income neighbors.
Christ Church and Round Hill Community Church have already contributed funds towards the purchase of new underwear and Congregation Shir Ami held a collection during Passover to help fulfill this need.
“I was delighted that Lucy and Laura reached out to Shir Ami to participate in The Undies Project,” said Rabbi Vicki Axe of Congregation Shir Ami.
“Their invitation came just before our congregational Passover Seder when part of the ritual is to hold up a piece of Matzah and declare, ‘This is the bread of affliction. Let all who are hungry come and eat,’” she said.
“There are all kinds of hunger,” Rabbi Axe continued. “Every year on Passover we remember that we were oppressed as slaves in Egypt and hungry for freedom, compelling us to offer nourishment to all people who are oppressed by any kind of hunger. The Undies Project gave us the opportunity to help people who are hungry for simple daily hygiene and physical comfort, hungry for self-esteem and dignity.”
Greenwich Churches participating in Undie Sundays this year are Diamond Hill United Methodist, First Congregational Church, First United Methodist, Second Congregational, St Catherine of Siena , St Mary Parish and St Saviour’s.
“We hope to surpass what was collected last year,” said Delaflor. “The need is year round and we are constantly striving to find ways to fulfill it.”
For more information about The Undies Project visit them at www.theundiesproject.org.