Home > Talking Pants > Talking Pants – September 2023

Total underwear collected is 2,121,948

Thank you for sending us a pantastic 1,862 parcels in August.

Since our last Talking Pants, we’ve provided new pants and new and gently worn bras to 7 organisations:

  • 472 pairs of pants and bras to Togs, an organisation providing clothing and equipment for children in Dundee.
  • 50 bras to Showerbox, an organisation supporting the homeless in London.
  • 144 pairs of pants and bras to Educate the Kids, who support children in Kenya.
  • 635 pairs of pants to The School Bank, West Lothian.
  • 1,130 pairs of pants to the Do Good Charity Initiative in Nigeria.
  • 554 pairs of pants and bras to A Child in the Rough, an organisation working with students in the Kibera slum in Nairobi, Kenya.
  • 830 pairs of pants and bras to Care4Calais, Slough & Heathrow and Herts.

In July, I mentioned we had provided bras and new pants to Airdrie Community School Uniform Bank. The organisation’s Nicola Smith told us: “We’re a not-for-profit organisation run by volunteers. We provide clothing and school uniforms free of charge to families in need. We rely on donations from our communities and local businesses as, due to the cost-of-living crisis, funding is really hard to get. Last year we received 4,000 referrals and expect this year to be treble that. We’re just about to enter our busiest period so any underwear you can give us will mean we can make sure everyone is given some.”

I also wanted to share some wonderful feedback we’ve received from Friends of St Michael’s School, Busembatia, Uganda, from Vicki Beach who recently took some pants over for them: “Dear Maria, and everyone who supports Smalls for All. On behalf of all the girls at Bishop Williger’s Secondary, thank you so much for your really generous donation of 400 pairs of pants. We started building the school in 2009 as there was an urgent need for a secondary school – the only one in the area. We are now up to 400 pupils. The school now has government teachers and we are starting to get really good exam results.

“Your donation, along with us making washable sanitary pads in the UK and taking them out last month, has made a real difference. We work with a Ugandan NGO Straight Talk. They run a girls’ club to talk about menstruation, growing up and gender equality, and all aspects of adolescent health. We have now trained up a local lady (Maria too!) how to make the washable sanitary pads, and in September she will be starting to work with groups of girls teaching them to make more. Hopefully, the beginning of a small business helping the local economy. Sadly, many girls only have one or two pairs of pants so your donation has really helped. At the two primary schools we support (1,500 pupils) in the village many girls have no pants – and if possible we will be asking for more pants (but smaller sizes!) before our next visit.”

We’ve received over 70 requests this year for underwear and will admit that reading the requests can be overwhelming and sometimes distressing. Hearing of girls and women in Africa trying to manage their period using goat skin, banana skins, mattress stuffing, leaves, newspapers; and in the UK children missing PE due to a lack of underwear is hard to hear and difficult to understand. Feedback like this makes a huge difference; knowing what we do, giving dignity and hopefully making people’s lives a little easier. We can only do what we do with the help of all the people who support Smalls, but we understand that life is challenging for many people and that money is tight. We’re working on a way to make it easier and cheaper for people to donate pants so that we can continue supporting people in need of underwear. Watch this space!

Thanks to those who have supported us by signing up to Easyfundraising and Recycle4Charity. We received £259.75 from Easyfundraising in only 3 months! If you’re not supporting us yet, please sign up now. It takes 2 minutes and 5,000+ brands – including John Lewis, eBay, Argos and many more – will donate to us for free every time you shop with them! Visit: http://bit.ly/easy-sfa. And in August you raised £45.70 for us by recycling your ink cartridges. At no cost to you, we receive a cash donation when you send your cartridge to Recycle4Charity. It’s not only an easy way to raise funds, it helps protect the environment too. To find out more and send your cartridges, click here – http://www.recycle4charity.co.uk/Register/C102202.

As always, thanks to you all for continuing to support Smalls.