You could say that the Binder Donation Program started before Point 5cc did!
The Binder Donation Program started exactly three years ago (April 2012) – before the company was even a company. Founder Aydian Dowling was still saving for his top surgery and did not yet know he would continue evolving Point 5cc into a fully-fledged clothing line for the trans* community.
After a trip to the Southern Comfort Conference in 2011 – one of the largest annual gatherings of the transgender community – a friend named Chris mailed Aydian some old chest binders because he had gotten top surgery. Chris meant for Aydian to get some use out of them, but many of the binders didn’t fit well.
Aydian went on his YouTube channel and gave the donated binders away one by one with the purchase of the shirt. That way, folks were donating to Aydian’s personal surgery fund while also receiving a binder well below the cost of purchasing a new one. A subscriber saw the video and sent Aydian five more binders, and the cycle continued.
To date, we have donated more than 500 chest binders to people, especially trans youth, in need.
Eventually as Point 5cc grew, so did the binder donation program. We pride ourselves being one of the first international binder donation program with no applications or forms. Our simple, zero-gatekeeping donation model has since been adopted by LGBT centers around the United States.
We currently require a purchase to receive a binder to help offset the cost of shipping, but hope to grow to a level where no purchase is necessary. Your purchase keeps the program sustainable while also supports our annual transgender surgery fund. The binder itself is free and always will be. Learn more
Since April 1, we have received a record high number of requests for donated binders – about 2-3 requests a day.
This has been really motivating to the Point 5cc team, because it means our binder donation program is working, the word is getting out there, and we are making a difference for those less fortunate.
But at the same time, it has meant we are running out of our small supply of available binders, and the waiting list for certain sizes has gone up to as much as 6-8 weeks. We hate having to delay in getting these binders out to folks, because we know just how bad dysphoria can be.
If you have a gently-used binder you’re able to donate, you can help!
EDIT: As of November 2016, this program is now part of Point of Pride, our sister non-profit organization. You may donate binders of all sizes, styles, and conditions to:
Point of Pride
PO Box 10991
Eugene, OR 97440
Learn more about donating your binder