Start your engines! St. Margaret's House hosts underwear donation drive, Undie 500

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SOUTH BEND, Ind.,-- St. Margaret’s house is hosting the Undie 500, racing to serve women with dignity and respect. The donation drive is a racing-themed event with the goal of collecting 500 pairs of brand-new women’s and children’s underwear!

People are encouraged to come out and donate unused women’s and children’s underwear and bras to St. Margaret’s house.

St. Margaret’s house supplies women and children with clothes but director of in-kind donations, Sandra Badur says underwear is an item every guest needs, specifically new underwear.

“We do go through quite a bit of underwear here at St. Margaret’s house,” Badur said. “We are hoping that we can collect at least 500 pairs so that we are stocked up for the rest of the year.”

St. Margaret’s House’s mission is to treat women with dignity and respect, and organizers, like executive director, Katie Elliot believe new underwear helps its guests feel respected and welcomed.

“Especially all women, I know how important it is to have good quality, well-fitting underwear and bras, and this is a chance for the community to get behind us in a very concrete way and ensure that the women who come to St. Margaret’s house have that,” said Elliot.

If you’d like to help, visit St. Margaret’s House (117 n. Lafayette Blvd.) in downtown South Bend Saturday morning to donate new women and children’s underwear and bras. You can also drop off donations Friday or Monday from 10 a.m. To 4 p.m.

The Undie 500 fits St. Margaret’s vision of improving the lives of women and children by meeting their immediate needs and helping them take their next best step.

It’s helped guest, Ella Coppeck, with more than finding clothing. 

“They help me with clothes,” said Coppeck. “They help me with finding a place to live. They help me with school, got a tutor. I just graduated in 2021, from the Excel Center at the age of 51. And I’ve been coming to St. Margaret’s and they’ve been my second home. If it wasn’t for St. Margaret’s, I wouldn’t have nowhere else to go.”

St. Margaret’s house provides women and children with safety as they navigate life’s challenges. Its mission comes from the book of Matthew, meeting the needs of women with dignity and respect. It is a trauma-informed organization that understands these women have been through a lot and work to meet their needs with the appropriate response.

Elliot says the day center’s mission is to view every guest with the utmost respect.

“Every human person has inherent dignity, and that’s the essence of who we are at St. Margaret’s house,” said Elliot. We see our women through the lens of their talents and their beauty and not through the lens of the challenges that they face.”

Many places around Michiana are not accepting clothing donations after college move-out and spring cleaning. St. Margaret’s house is accepting donations but is limited based on needs due to storage. You can find a full, updated list here.

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