Home > 2015 > Talking pants – December 2015

We finish the year with a counted total of 208,410 and we still have underwear to be sorted and counted.

We had another sorting day on Sunday 13 December and have posted a message on the website thanking all the people whose parcels we have now opened. Thanks also to everyone who gave up their Sunday to help. Please remember that if you don’t see your name it could be that your parcel has still to be opened.

Congratulations to Debbie Brentnall, winner of the December lottery.

Thanks also to everyone who has helped us raise just over £200 so far, via
Easyfundraising. If you would like to help raise funds when you shop online with M&S, Tesco, Amazon and many more please click here.

Thanks also to Clare Foster, United Free Church (Cowbridge) and the ladies at SGA Scotia Gas network for their monetary donations.

I’m just back from a trip to Kenya and Malawi where I was catching up with some of our girls and visiting the villages where we now sponsor the education of 330 preschool children in Malawi. For those of you on Facebook you might have seen some of the posts and photographs, for those of you that aren’t then I’ve uploaded some pictures to Flickr. Just click through from the website and go to “albums” then choose “Kenya & Malawi December 2015”.

What a year it’s been. We celebrated being 5 years old on 10 August, this being the date we received charitable status. For those of you not on Facebook you may remember reading in the August update that Smalls “went viral”. On Monday 27 July all I had to worry about was going into hospital on the Thursday to get 2 wisdom teeth out, but by Wednesday that was a
mere distraction. I woke up from a general anaesthetic thinking it had been a dream but it wasn’t, we really had gone from 900 likes on Facebook on Monday 27 July to 25,000 on the Thursday to 50,000 by Monday 31st. The volume of emails, posts, comments and messages was incredible as were the donations of underwear.

Whilst I am very grateful for all the support and interest it brought some practical challenges! My house, garage, Pantagon and bra shed could no longer cope with the volume of deliveries from Royal Mail and couriers. So I was very grateful to West Lothian Council for giving me some temporary space where I can store all the underwear and at long last have a space
where people can come along to help count and sort the underwear. The logistics around deliveries and all the stages from opening to sorting and bagging the underwear has proved a big challenge given the volume of donations we have received. I’m so grateful to everyone who has given their time to come along and help with the process, without their help we would not have managed to distribute as much this year.

Over the last 5 years Smalls has grown more than I could ever have expected or hoped for. Going from doing a one off collection late in 2009 when I hoped to collect 2000 pairs of pants, to collecting 208,410 pairs of pants and bras, is just unbelievable, as is the fact we have managed to distribute 126,517 to schools, orphanages, hospitals, the slums in Kenya and Uganda and IDP camps in Kenya. When I set up Smalls I never imagined that I’d get anywhere close to this amount of underwear or be able to send girls to school. But the kindness and generosity of people has been amazing and we are now paying for the education of 31 girls in Kenya and Uganda, with another 330 preschool children in Malawi coming onboard this month. Thanks to everyone who has donated underwear, money or their time to make this happen.

There are so many people to thank, too many to mention here, but I do hope you know how much your support means to me and how grateful I am. There are so many other charities and worthwhile causes needing support and I need you to know that I don’t take any of you for granted. So thank you.

Thank you to the people who have supported me over the last 5 years and thank you to everyone who has played a part in making Smalls what it is today. Without you all we would not have collected 208,410 items of underwear or distributed 126,517, and we would not be able to pay for the education of 31 young girls in Kenya and Uganda or been able to expand and take on the education costs of the 330 preschool children in Malawi.

I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do in 2016!

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year.

Love and best wishes for a pantastic 2016.

Maria