Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Bras N Boots 2012: An Open Letter from Captain Molly Mae Potter

Dear Whimsical Women artists and fans,

In the summer of 2010, I was deployed to Afghanistan.  It was right in the middle of the Presidential-directed “surge',” with thousands of troops pouring into the country daily and the height of the war effort in full gear.  While deployed, I found myself traveling to some of the most remote, destitute, and dangerous places in the country.  The comforts of home were long gone and the daily phone call home was what held my sanity together.  Occasionally I would make it back to my primary base to take a shower, eat a warm meal, and get some sleep. Fortunately for me, I would usually have a package from friends or family waiting for me there.

The care package was more than just a motivator and a sign of compassion from back home.. When I called home, I would spout out a list of things that I wanted sent.  I wasn't requesting photos or movies, rather I NEEDED basic necessities.  When I opened care packages, I welcomed nice soap, toothbrushes, women’s razors, shampoos and conditioners, good socks, Chapstick, women's deodorant, tampons, and hand sanitizer.  These were TREASURES because in a country full of war and men, people seemed to forget about the women.

I started placing my care packages in the women's bathrooms wherever I traveled around the country.  I would go back a few hours later, and everything would be gone.  All that would be left were small handwritten notes of gratitude.  The women were so happy and relieved to get female-specific care packages!  At one point the base I was at ran out of tampons, and another shipment wasn't due in for weeks--these care packages literally were providing the basic comforts of life for women in uniform.

In November of 2011, one year after I got back from deployment, I couldn't help but think of all the women still deployed.  That's where the Bras N Boots idea kicked into full gear. The Whimsical Women Fall Sale seemed like the perfect venue to collect goods and boy, oh boy was it perfect!  Guests and artists alike poured out with support. Thanks to you, hundreds if not thousands of women deployed around the world received a care package from Bras N Boots.

This year we are going to do it again! We will be at the 2012 fall sale asking for your help! Currently we have 68,000 US troops in Afghanistan, several Navy carriers with over 4000 sailors out to sea, and thousands more deployed to remote places all over the world.  Let's make sure the women in these troops are not forgotten!

Here’s what we are collecting:

New travel-sized shampoos and conditioners/toiletries
Nice soaps and lotions
Women's magazines
Women's sports bras
Women’s boot socks
Chap stick
Hair stuff (hair rubber bands and hair pins/clips)
Women's shaving supplies
Luna bars
Clear nail polish (colored nail polish is ok if it is a neutral color)
Nail files
Hand sanitizer
Liquid hand soap
Books and “chick flicks”
Calling cards
Notes cards/stationary to send letters home
Small frames to place family pictures in

If you cannot provide supplies, we also need cash donations to help with shipping.  Last year we had more supplies and boxes than funding to send out everything we collected.  Every bit helps!

Also, please consider checking out our Facebook page and becoming a member!  We will provide updates on the drive status as well as pictures of the recipients of your goods.

Thank you for your support and outpouring of love.


Molly Mae Potter, Capt, USAF

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