Jeanne Whitman created Bras for a Cause about five years ago, and it has grown every year. “The first year, I invited people to come to my place of business and decorate bras, just for awareness. The second year, I did the same thing. We just had a little get-together and decorated bras.” The third year, Whitman decided to make this event grow. “We had it at Pizza Gallery & Grill and added a trivia game to entice people to come. They also brought bras to fill up the big basket that we had.” In fact, they filled two baskets that night. “People brought bras, hundreds of bras.”
Those who attended that night absolutely loved the event. They had a free meal, and Whitman donated everything through the American Cancer Society. The next year Whitman looked online for a place she could send the bras and found The Bra Recyclers in Arizona. “They ship them out to people all over the world that are in need due to natural disasters and even to human trafficking survivors.”
That led Whitman to the fourth-year Bras for a Cause event held at Duran Golf Club. Whitman tells us, “We had an explosion of people. I was so taken aback by the outpouring of people coming that I felt I had to do this for other people, too. I felt like I needed to spread out, plus I’d had a personal experience in human trafficking, so this year I decided to talk about it and add support for that cause as well. I recently joined Zonta of Melbourne, the anti-human trafficking group that supports these victims. They work with the Space Coast Human Trafficking Task Force who receives all the money and all the bras and sends both out to where it’s needed.”
Whitman saw over 140 people this year at the Suntree Country Club, and the event now features all types of vendors. “We also had male leaders this year! The men wore a bra and decorated with their hobby, their sport, or something. They came out of the elevator and walked around where all the ladies sat at tables. Then they went up on stage with baskets in front of each of them. Sierra Hack, Miss USA ambassador, drove the event from there, collecting money in the baskets to pick a winner.” Bras for a Cause has made Whitman more aware of what’s going on in the community and the county.
Whitman has been involved in many different aspects of volunteering including the Kiwi Tennis Club’s Women’s Grand Slam. For the past two years, she’s sponsored and hosted Women’s Day. “The proceeds go to Candlelighters and the Morgan Project; I’m very proud of that, too,” Whitman says.