Images by Smalls for All
Smalls for All® is a small charity that collects and distributes new pants, and new and gently worn bras to people in Africa and the UK who can’t afford or can’t get any.
Giving pants and bras may seem like a small thing, but it can make a life-changing difference for some people. For example, many teenage girls miss out on valuable days of schooling each month, and women miss days of work, because having no pants means they’re forced to stay at home during their period. Men need pants too of course, with requests coming from, homeless charities in the UK and hospitals in Africa. Every pair of brand new pants provided is guaranteed to help give someone back their dignity at the very least.
The charity was launched in 2010 by founder Maria Macnamara, after a series of volunteering holidays where she saw for herself the difficulties faced by women and girls who had no pants. To date the charity has distributed over 1.7 million items of underwear to people in need.
In Africa, Smalls for All help people living in orphanages, slums, IDP (internally displaced persons) camps and schools, as well as those in hospitals suffering from medical conditions like obstetric fistula or who need to be fitted with prosthetics or orthotics. While people living in Western Society tend to have easy access to underwear and take it for granted, in many more remote or poorer parts of Africa, that’s far from the case. Underwear is a luxury that isn’t easily available and, if it is, many people just can’t afford.
Now I can go to school every day, just like the boys”Joyce, Tanzania
At home in the UK, Smalls for All works with other charities that focus on alleviating poverty by providing them with underwear for the homeless, refugees and school uniform banks.
Initially, the global pandemic boosted their levels of donations with people taking advantage of lockdown to have a clear out at home. However, they are really feeling the pinch now, in September 2019, they received 6,496 parcels of underwear from donors but this September they only received 2,829 and they are finding that demand has never been so high. As a result, they are running low on pants.
The charity has grown dramatically over the last few years and as well as receiving donations of underwear the charity relies on fundraising to support the work they do. Unless donations of pants increase the charity will be forced to buy pants in order to support those in need.
Supporters of Smalls for All have already raised £5,478 through easyfundraising and together we can make this year mean more. Shopping through easyfundraising is more than just a purchase, it means more lives transformed through access to underwear.