Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Annual bra exchange increases customer support, awareness of DV

Ten years ago, Terry Levine opened clair de lune lingerie boutique in Overland Park. Shortly after opening, Levine saw an opportunity to give back to the community.
She investigated local charities in need and found Hope House, a domestic violence advocate agency who serves survivors in the Kansas City area.
“It seems that domestic violence awareness has elevated over the last several years,” said Levine. “I had a product I could put in someone’s hand that they could use, since - in most cases - women leave with just the clothes they have on. A bra is not something people think of donating or reselling. They are really an overlooked necessity.”  
Between January 8 and 25, Levine’s customers are able to bring in gently-used bras in exchange for a $15 credit on the purchase of a new bra. The exchange has gained support over the years from her customer base.
“Customers love the idea,” said Levine. “The exchange takes on a whole new meaning because it’s a community effort. Every year, we collect more and more.”
During the exchange, clair de lune experiences its busiest time of year, Levine said.
“Our customers have started looking for the event,” said Levine. “It’s become a time of year the women can focus on themselves again. The holidays are spent on time for others. So this time of year allows our customers to help themselves and a great cause.”
Once the bras are collected, Hope House staff  pick up the bras and sort them for distribution to clients in our shelter and outreach services, said Hope House CEO MaryAnne Metheny.
“This has been such a great collection drive over the years,” said Metheny. “We receive bras of all sizes, so it is so helpful to our clients to know they will be able to find something that fits their unique needs.”
Hope House has been operating for 32 years and has been successful in part due to local partnerships with businesses, faith-based groups and charitable organizations.
“Clair de lune began this drive 10 years ago and it has been wonderful to partner with them, we are grateful to them for selecting our agency as the recipients of their bra exchange” said Metheny. “They are a great example for any business who wants to drive customer engagement and raise awareness for domestic violence or any other local charity.”

For information on clair de lune, visit http://www.clairdelunekc.com. For information on Hope House, visit www.hopehouse.net. Or, for ways to get your business, employees or customers engaged with Hope House, contact Brandi Bair, Hope House volunteer coordinator at bbair@hopehouse.net

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