When Mikayla Mah and Rachel Joy, both 16, had to come up with a project for their Civics 11 class, they decided to take their project to new heights, literally, by deciding that their project would be to raise breast cancer awareness by completing a Bras Across The Bridge campaign.
The girls decided to do a project to raise breast cancer awareness within their school because the disease is something that’s personally affected both of them.
“We just thought it would be something that means a lot to us because we’ve had family members who have had breast cancer,” said Joy.
Mah agreed with Joy and explained her reasoning for deciding to do a project to raise breast cancer awareness.
“That one kid of stuck out to us and we thought it would be a good idea.”
The bras across bridges project meant that in order to raise awareness of breast cancer, Joy and Mah put up posters around the school asking for gently used bra donations.
“Girls could just donate them if they had ones they didn’t need or they wanted to get rid of,” said Mah.
Joy added that another reason girls donated their bras was because they no longer fit.
“Some guys made some jokes saying, ‘Oh we’ll get some from our mom’ but I doubt they did,” Mah said.
The girls decided on doing the Bras Across The Bridge project because it was something that seemed to have success in other places and it was also something different.
“We saw that other places around have done something similar to this, but because we have the cold winters, we didn’t want to hang them across an actual bridge,” said Mah.
Mah and Joy explained that in places such as Vancouver, the bras are actually hung across a bridge but because of the Peace Region climate, they opted for something that required a little more creativity.
“We decided to do the paper bridge idea and then, keep a tally,” Mah
Since the girls decided to make a paper bridge, they also decided that bridge would be the perfect place to keep a tally of all the bras that were donated within the school.
“With every bra we got, we would hang up a paper one,” said Mah.
The paper bras were attached to the bridge so that everyone could see how the project was doing and once the donation time had passed, Joy and Mah were left with the decision on how the 60 generously donated bras would be put to use.
“Once we got all these bras, we were trying to find somewhere we could send them,” explained Mah.
After doing some research and asking aground, the girls found out that in Dawson Creek, there wasn’t really somewhere they could take their donations.
“We tried to see if the local shelters wanted them but they said that they didn’t’ really need them,” said Joy.
However, after doing some researching on the web, Joy and Mah found an organization that was happy to make use of all their donations.
“We came across this organization called We love Africa, and they accept donations so we are going to send them to Edmonton and then they ship them to Africa,” said Joy.
When asked how the girls felt about the bras being sent to Africa they both explained they were excited.
“It ended up being really good because, there are people there that are really in need of them and they [the organization], said they were in need of stuff like that,” said Mah.
Joy agreed that having the bras go to women in Africa is something she’s really proud of.
“It feels good knowing that instead of throwing them out they’re going to have a purpose and people are actually going to use them,” said Joy.
Both Joy and Mah expressed interest in coordinating a project like this one for next year.
“I think it would be cool, next time if we did do it again that we did more within the community so that we could get more,” said Joy.
When asked how it felt to coordinate this project within the school, both Mah and Joy explained that it was something they found brought awareness within the school but was also something they found fun.
Mah added, “It was exciting when we got to check the box and see more and more.”