Every day is a giving day for MADI Apparel — the Kansas City startup that donates a pair of underwear to the needy for every pair it sells — but this year #GivingTuesday has a special meaning and purpose.
MADI is hosting a one-day online fundraising drive to pay for a relief mission to South America in the spring, where it will distribute underwear and host health education seminars for women and girls.
The campaign aims to raise $3,000 and donors who pledge $100 or more will be included in a raffle whose winner will get to travel with the MADI team on its South American trip. If the campaign reaches its stretch goal of $4,500, anyone who donates $500 will have chance to win airfare for two people to join the mission.
The campaign comes on the heels of MADI‘s first international outreach last month, when two staff members spent four days in Haiti with the Texas-based humanitarian agency Circle of Health International, which supports a safe birthing clinic near the Dominican Republic border. While there, the MADI team distributed 300 pairs of its moisture-wicking bamboo briefs along with menstrual hygiene kits to women in remote villages in the impoverished region.
“We received such great feedback and questions from women in the remote locations we visited,” MADI founder Hayley Besheer told Lingerie Talk today. “Menstrual hygiene is so rarely addressed there and access to clean underwear and hygiene protection is rare, too.”
At each location, the local pastor would gather mothers and young girls in a church for a discussion about menstrual hygiene and safe sex. At one stop, dozens of women hiked up a steep path on Mount Coron and waited for hours to meet the visitors from MADI and Circle of Health.
A moving report on the trip can be found on MADI’s blog, but here’s a sample (written by Hayley):
“Sure, my company donated underwear … and in a physical way that was the root of the trip. But when I thought hard it wasn’t just about the underwear.
“What did I give? I gave my whole heart to being in the moment and giving to the best of my ability, my ear to listen, my feet to reach remote women, my hands to hold with children who wanted to make a connection, my eyes and nose to soak in the atmosphere of Haiti and pass it on to others, my mouth to pass on wisdom about menstrual hygiene.”
As we reported earlier, MADI operates as both a for-profit lingerie business and a registered non-profit charity under the name MADI Donations Inc. That means donations to its international outreach efforts are tax-deductible.
The exact date and destination of MADI‘s South America drop-off will be released once plans are finalized.
Here are some more extraordinary images from their visit to Haiti, courtesy of MADI.