Are you tired of celebrating outdated heteronormative relationship structures?Sick of society valuing romantic love more than platonic and familial? Exhausted from patriarchal norms policing your sexuality? Sounds like you need a new way to celebrate Feb. 14.
Instead of buying lingerie that will stick in your crevices and be a pain to take off, buy some fresh undergarments for a local women’s shelter or mutual aid group in your area.
“You’d be hard-pressed to find a shelter program that wouldn’t be super excited to see new underwear and bras for all sizes. Those are very hard to come by,” Katie Spriggs, a sexual assault survivor advocate and the executive director of the Eastern Panhandle Empowerment Center (formerly Shenandoah Women’s Center) in Martinsburg, West Virginia, previously told HuffPost.
While you may be inclined to donate your gently worn undergarments, Spriggs encouraged sticking with new stuff. “If you’ve had trauma [or] if you’ve been sexually assaulted, you want some clean, brand new stuff to put on,” she said. “It upholds someone’s dignity to provide them with new and not used underwear.”
A bulk set of plain cotton panties will certainly be put to good use, but Melanie Beddis, director of programs at Savage Sisters ― the Philadelphia-based recovery, housing and harm reduction non-profit I volunteer with ― suggested donating fun, cute and even sexy underwear. Think underwear you would want to wear.
Donating panties in different styles, materials and colors gives women agency and autonomy in choosing what goes on their bodies, Beddis said. “The standard donation underwear tends to be on the granny panty side,” Beddis said. “People deserve underpants options!”
If you already know the organization(s) you want to contribute to, Spriggs recommended giving them a call to ensure they’re taking donations and to facilitate the delivery process. Some places may accept in-person donations while others may ask you to have the new undergarments sent directly to them. These days, many places have their own Amazon wishlists that will deliver products to them directly, Spriggs said.
If you’re looking for a shelter or organization to bring donations to, Spriggs recommended Googling causes that matter to you and your area. Some groups focus on serving survivors of domestic violence; some help with addiction and harm reduction; others help with sex workers. With a little digging, you can likely find a group you want to support. And with the ease of Amazon, you can easily send them fresh undies even if they’re far away.
HuffPost receives a share from retailers on this page. Every item is independently selected by the HuffPost Shopping team. Prices and availability are subject to change.
A variety pack of assorted styles
This set of 12 assorted undies comes with a mix of lacy full cuts, boyshorts, seamless low-rise bikinis, cheeky hipsters and cotton briefs in a variety of colors and patterns. They run from XS through XL. (Note that all 12 pairs will be the same size.)
A set of six cotton thong panties
Continuing the fun undies theme, Beddis said some organizations (like Savage Sisters) may want thongs to offer participants. "Just like just how men prefer boxers or briefs, it would be nice to have options for the ladies," she said.
This pack of cotton thongs comes in seven color sets from S to XL.
A 12-pack of stretchy hipster underwear
A full coverage bottom that doesn't scream "granny panty," this 12-pack is another great option. It comes in 10 different packs with cute mixes of colors and patterns from XS to XL.
A set of 48 panties with a large size range
Of course, if you're looking to donate a bulk set of simple undies, we've got you covered. This listing comes with 48 pairs of panties in seven different colors. Sets are available in sizes S to 5XL.
A set of six comfy and cute ribbed bralettes
"We have a couple of people who will buy the ... big bulk bras, and when they come, it’s a celebration among us. Like, ‘Oh my god! We get to put out new bras!’” Spriggs said. Give your local org a reason to celebrate by sending over some comfortable but good-looking new bras.
When donating bras, you'll want to opt for sports bras and bralette styles since the sizing is more universal and they're more comfortable to wear, Beddis said.
While Amazon has a ton of bulk plain cotton bras
, you could consider getting something a little more unique.
Again, the name of the donation game is: "Would I be happy to wear this?" The bralettes in this six-pack are comfortable without being frumpy and come in eight cute color packs from sizes M to XXL.
A four-pack of padded bralettes
This set of four fuss-free bras with adjustable and convertible straps is another solid option. They come in 17 color combinations from S through XXL and have lots of five-star reviews
citing their comfort, especially for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding
Warm, high-quality socks
In addition to bras and panties, shelters and programs always
need thick, high-quality, warm socks — particularly in the colder months, said Jamie Doyle, director of communications of Rosie’s Place
, a community center and women’s shelter in Boston.
"For women who are living on the streets especially, podiatry issues and the physicality of [living on the street] is grueling," Doyle previously told HuffPost. "Being able to change into clean socks, especially in inclement weather, is a part of staying as healthy as they can be."
While Amazon has a ton of listings for super-cheap bulk sets of low-cut ankle socks,
during the winter, folks need to cover their ankles and protect their toes. These Dickies crew socks come in sets of six and 12 in over 25 colors. They have supported arches, reinforced heels and toes, and moisture-wicking fibers to keep feet dry.