We all know (from experience!) how hard it is for a large-busted teenager to find a well-fitting bra, but at least the majority of us had parents to help with the cost once we found one. A full-busted teen that ages out of the foster care system in Florida, however, has an entirely different experience. In fact, for her 18th birthday, she receives notice that she’s no longer the state’s obligation.

When I turned 18, I thought I was the smartest girl in the world, but if my parents had turned me out on my own, I would have discovered right away how much I didn’t know. For instance, I knew how to drive a car, but I had no idea about insurance. I knew how to budget my allowance, but I’d never had to support myself. I knew how to make fried rice, popcorn and brownies, but I’d never had to plan for a week of meals.

There’s an organization in Sarasota, Florida, that understands the challenges of being 18 and on your own. Among other things, Joining Our Youth gives youth who are aging out of foster care:

  • bicycles and bus passes so that they can get to school and work;
  • a housekeeping starter kit with things like sheets, towels, tools and cleaning supplies;
  • free age-appropriate clothing through a store called Trendy Threads.

I’m writing about Joining Our Youth because Cheryl Burke, the owner of Sea Cup and Up who herself wears a 32G, is asking for new and gently used bras for the young women who shop at Trendy Threads. Right now her project is in its early stages. Trendy Threads is only open once a week, and it’s a challenge to coordinate schedules with every young woman who needs a bra. But from what I know of Cheryl’s passion to put women in the right bra, it’s only a matter of time before Cheryl is putting these aging-out girls into bras that make them feel like they can conquer the world. [3/27 update: Cheryl hopes to fit each girl with at least three new bras.]

The more bras we can donate through Sea Cup and Up, the sooner Cheryl’s vision becomes a reality. Right now, many of the donations are 36D’s because that’s the size Cheryl’s customers donate once Cheryl puts them in the correct size. We know all about being mis-sized in 36D, don’t we? And we know there are a lot of teenagers out there who are nowhere near a 36 . . . or a 34 . . . or a 32.

Why not spring clean your bra drawer this season? Then ship the bras that you love but don’t wear to a full-busted teen who will wear them? Mail your bras to this address, and include a little note mentioning that you heard about this project through Hourglassy:

Cheryl Burke
Sea Cup and Up
1810 S. Osprey Ave.
Sarasota, FL 34239

If the bra’s size is no longer visible, write that down for Cheryl as well. Finally, if you’re wondering whether your bras qualify as “gently used”, check out my post, Is Your Old Full Bust Bra a Lost Cause or Can It Go to a Good Cause?

If you don’t have any bras to donate, send a check instead. That way Cheryl can fill in any gaps in her donation inventory.


Here are two other non-profits that would also be happy to receive your donations:

Foster Care Support Foundation in Georgia

The Gathering Place in Colorado, via SOL Store of Lingerie


If Sea Cup and Up sounds familiar, here’s where I mentioned the store last year:

Bolero Beachwear

Physical Features in a Brick and Mortar Store that Make a Difference to Bra Shopping