A local organization opened its doors to take care of a less visible need for girls and women in area shelters.
One local woman is teaming up with Virginia lawmakers to make a change.
BRAWS has a mission to bring dignity and empowerment to women in shelters and schools by providing undergarments and feminine hygiene products.
Holly Seibold is the heart of the mission; three years ago, she started the organization in her garage.
Since then, BRAWS has impacted over 4,000 women in the D.C. metro area by donating thousands of bras, underwear and feminine hygiene products.
“I could only imagine what it would be like to be homeless, in a really dire situation and not be able to have these items and manage my menstruation. I immediately started collecting items in the community [and] started distributing those items. The demand was huge, and the different shelters kept contacting us and trying to get more items,” said Seibold.
She didn’t stop there.
She reached out to local leaders to make permanent change in the community, even introducing the Dignity Act in Richmond.
“I was just talking with a woman who volunteers a lot. She said there are families. There were seven sisters. They were having to make a decision between buying their supplies and buying food for themselves,” said Jennifer Boysko, Delegate, Virginia’s 86th District.
Lieutenant Governor Dr. Ralph Northam, who is also running for governor, made an appearance at the opening and said feminine hygiene access is just one of the many issues that affect women.
“It’s done so much for advocacy and awareness for women’s feminine hygiene. You know, something that we don’t think about sometimes is that, especially people, can’t afford products, and you have students that want to go to school, and if they don’t have access to what they need, then they may not be able to go to school or go to work,” said Dr. Northam.