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Sue's Views: For an uplifting experience, donate your bra

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If you have an e-mail account, you have received some sort of bizarre request, be it for your bank number so that a wealthy Nigerian businessman, who has a terminal illness, can distribute his wealth to charity. It could be that you must forward this important yet little-known emergency medical tip to 10 people to save at least one life. Or it could be warning that free samples in the mail such as lotions, perfumes, diapers and the like are poisonous and the government is afraid that this might be another terrorist act. My personal favorite (heavy sarcasm here) is the notice to update your spam filter immediately (in flashing letters) that actually gives your computer a virus when you click on it.

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Anyway, you know what I'm talking about. Every day, there's some new too-good-to-be-true offer, some important warning, some chocolate chip cookie recipe that Neiman Marcus doesn't want you to have.

But this week, I got an e-mail that was too eccentric not to open and read. Here's the subject line: Help ReShape Haiti! Donate Your Bra!

Take a moment to re-read that and if you aren't giggling, you ought to be.

Here's the deal. This retailer is collecting new or gently used bras to donate to women in Haiti. According to their e-mail, the single item of clothing women in need often need most is a bra.

I did not know this and I wasn't sure if I should believe it. Come on, think about it, of all the things that people recovering from a devastating earthquake need, who would ever think a Miracle Bra would be on the list?

On the other hand, many underwear models have a malnourished look about them, so maybe? It's just a suspicious request.

So, I did a little research. Whenever I get an unusual e-mail request, I check it on either www.snopes.com or www.Hoax-Slayer.com. Neither site had anything on a bra-collecting scam, so I thought I'd dig a little deeper.

And what do you know, there is actually a bra recycling company in Gilbert, Ariz. that has been in business since 2008. Their founder and CEO reports that bra donation is popular in Europe but has not been big in the U.S.

Still, it is amusing to me to think that I can lend my support (giggle) to Haitian women merely by gathering up the never worn, hardly worn and no reason to be worn brassieres from my lingerie drawer and mailing them off to Arizona. More than amusing, it's weird. Honestly, I don't put any of my lingerie on the clothesline, and now I should be mailing it all over the earth?

Again, I'm back on the Internet, searching "bra donations" and wondering how many weird web sites you have to visit in a day to get the FBI's attention.

Turns out, this really is a good idea. Not just for Haiti, but for women's shelters and other organizations that provide help for people in need.

So, give the gift of support. Donate your bra. It's an uplifting experience.

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