Spotlight on: Breast Oasis

There are traditional ways to give back to the community, such as donating your time or money to a worthy cause. But some charitable groups like Breast Oasis think outside the box when it comes to the types of donations they solicit.

Founded in 2009 by Akron, Ohio-based plastic surgeon John Pedersen, MD, Breast Oasis is a nonprofit group that provides women in need with new or gently used bras. Plastic surgeons routinely perform breast augmentation, breast reduction and breast reconstruction surgeries. As a result of these surgeries, many women will need to purchase new bras, but what do they do with their old undergarments?

Enter Breast Oasis.

So far, this group has collected and donated 100,000 bras to women in need across the country. There are more than a dozen doctors on board whose offices serve as donation centers, and the group is expanding quickly. Breast Oasis also helps sponsor local bra drives.

They do more than donate bras; they also pass on hope and courage. Women donate their bras at participating doctors' offices. The garments are then checked, sorted, laundered and certified before they are gift-wrapped for delivery. Each bra is labeled with a bra identification number (BIN). Women who donate bras are encouraged to visit the Breast Oasis website and write messages to the recipients using their BIN. The recipient then types the BIN back into the website to read these messages.

If you have new or gently used bras, you can donate via the Web or in person. Financial donations are also accepted.

Read the full-length feature article on Breast Oasis on our sister website,