Kennedy & Co Says Bring Your BRAWS to Our Home

Contact: Madeline Middlebrook
Phone: (703) 772-1136

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Aug. 10, 2018) – Kennedy & Co., a woman owned and operated, boutique real estate agency based in Georgetown, D.C. is partnering with UPIC Health in a “Sip & Support” happy hour event to support a local organization that collects and distributes supplies to D.C. metro-area women in need.

The Aug. 24 event is the first non-profit night of this kind hosted by Kennedy & Co. at its 1231 Potomac St. NW location. The Sip and Support happy hour aims to collect donations in the form of cash, boxes of unopened feminine hygiene products, and new bras and underwear with tags that will be distributed by BRAWS, which “believes all women and girls should have access to tampons and pads in public restrooms, schools, shelters and jails.”

“This happy hour event is a way for our company to show support for women looking to rebuild their lives.  We are so proud to be working hand-in-hand with UPIC and BRAWS, as both are as committed to serving our local community’s needs as we are,” says Kennedy & Co. Realtor Madeline Middlebrook.

Kennedy & Co and UPIC Health will provide drinks and light food, as well as information on BRAWS and continued opportunities to support women in need. Cocktail attire is advised and a method for cash donations will be provided.

Co-host, UPIC Health is 100% female owned and operated, serving the women’s reproductive health community for the last four years and partnering closely with non-profits, such as BRAWS, N Street Village in D.C. and H.E.R. Shelter in Hampton Roads, Va.

“Our organization is based on empathy and we cannot see a better way to live out that value than to support our partners,” said UPIC CEO, Mary Tucker. “We are thrilled that Kennedy & Co. has offered their space for this exciting event.”

BRAWS is a local non-profit whose mission is to bring dignity and empowerment to women and girls living in shelters by providing new personally fitted undergarments and menstrual products.

Kennedy&Co is a woman-owned, luxury boutique, small business located in Georgetown, D.C. that handles residential, commercial and land transactions.  If you would like more information on this event and its hosts, please call real estate sales agent Madeline Middlebrook at (703) 772-1136 or email

UPIC Health is a mid-size, women-owned and operated, private organization with operations in Chantilly and Norfolk, Va.  A business process outsourcer, UPIC offers patient contact center, revenue cycle management, and telebehavioral health services to clients across the country, all practicing under the value-based reimbursement concept.  UPIC is a 2018 Velocity Growth Award Winner and Growth Story of the Year recipient.  To learn more, visit or email Chief Marketing Officer, Juli Briskman at Follow us @UPICHealth.

Madeline Middlebrook
Real Estate Agent
Licensed in VA

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UPIC Celebrates House Bill 83 With BRAWS at Friends of Guest House

Va. Del. Dana Roem with Holly Seibold (founder of BRAWS) and Kari Galloway (executive director of FOGH)

UPICares and partner BRAWS, celebrated the passing of Virginia House Bill 83 last week, which requires the state to provide free feminine hygiene products to incarcerated women.  The event honoring legislators and advocates who worked tirelessly to pass what we would call a “dignity act,” was held at Friends of Guest House in Alexandria, Va. (FOGH).

While the bill requires the state to provide the products for free in jails and prisons, the State Board of Corrections still could limit access to the products, according to a recent article on the topic.  And another bill that would have eliminated the “pink taxes” on such products did not pass this session.

Shortly after a similar federal Dignity for Incarcerated Women Act was introduced by several U.S. Senators last year, the Federal Bureau of Prisons issued a memo making tampons and pads available free of charge to all incarcerated women in federal prison.

So, while the tides are turning, much more work needs to be done.

Imprisoned women’s have been instrumental in bringing the need for on-demand feminine products to the forefront of the legislative agenda.  And balancing the political parties of the Virginia House in 2017 definitely helped as well.  The bill was introduced by Del. Kaye Kory and supported by Northern Virginia representatives Del. Dana Roem, Del. Mark Keam, and Sen. Barbara Favola, among others.

Friends of Guest House
FOGH, which helps women transition out of prison and into society, has all sorts of real examples and data on the positive effects of treating women with dignity.  The organization has helped more than 3,000 women re-enter the community since its founding in 1974.

FOGH reports that 70 percent of female offenders will re-enter the prison system if they do not have services such as those provided by the Guest House.  And in fact, less than 10 percent of FOGH clients re-offend.  As nearly 80 percent of the women in jail are mothers, the positive effects of FOGH services are compounded and pass through generations.

Friends of Guest House

By helping women, we have also impacted the lives of more than 4,000 children and countless families across our community,” says FOGH.

When viewing prison through the lens of reform, there should be no doubt that prisoners deserve safety, security, and basic human rights (such as pads and tampons). Providing these essentials will ensure incarcerated females can focus on what matters: healing and rehabilitation.

Thus, House Bill 83, signed by Governor Ralph Northam and effective as of July 1, is a huge step in paving the way for dignity, empathy, and healing for females in the Virginia prison system.

Author Jessica Lay is UPIC’s Program Lead for UPICares, the organization’s philanthropic initiative.  She spends half of her time assisting patients through UPIC’s contact center and recently completed a degree in Aging Services Management. Follow us on Twitter @UPICHealth.

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New BRAWS Partnership Aids Local Women Who Need It Most

As it was Women’s Health Month,  May was a great time to launch UPIC’s partnership with an organization that collects sanitary products, bras, and underwear and delivers them to women and teens in need.

UPIC employees in Norfolk and Chantilly, Va. collected items for Virginia-based  BRAWS (Brings Resources to Aid Women’s Shelters) and visited a local shelter to help distribute them.

When UPIC learned about BRAWS’ mission and that some women in Fairfax and Loudoun Counties were missing school, interviews, and other appointments because they did not have supplies, we knew immediately the organization aligns with our mission of Meaningful Engagement in Care and the support of women.

“Our employees were really thoughtful about the items they donated, understanding that functioning to our full potential as women requires confidence,” said Chief Marketing Officer, Juli Briskman.  “It’s hard to feel confident when using products that are not comfortable or wearing undergarments that don’t fit correctly.”

Four UPIC volunteers met BRAWS organizers at the Loudoun Emergency Homeless Shelter on May 23 to find everything pre-organized into size bins.  And bags had been compiled for women that had already signed up for the event and given their sizes.

Unfortunately for us, many of the women were working.  But we were glad to hear they were at work and would be able to pick up their “orders” when they got back to the shelter.  The women we did meet were very thankful for the items, tried some on, and left with several bags of goodies.

Many of the female residents and their families have been recently displaced by the housing crisis. And Loudoun County, which has the highest U.S. median income, has seen a surge in homelessness for singles and families, according to the Loudoun Times-Mirror.

Donations collected in Chantilly, Va.

During Hard Times, Feminine Care Drops in Priority

Basic necessities such as a well-fitting bra or sanitary products are not easy to come by for much of the population. Poverty rates are higher for  U.S. women than men.  And over half of the 37 million Americans living in poverty,  are women, according to the Center for American Progress. In combination with the prevailing wage gap and Pink Taxes,  undergarments and feminine products can quickly drop to the bottom of any priority list.

Donations collected in the Norfolk, Va. office

BRAWS  has stepped in to fill this gap, working alongside shelters, such as New Hope Housing, Thrive DC, and Doorways for Women and Families (among many others). BRAWS operates several drop-off sites and has a pickup service by appointment.  To learn more, visit the website.

Author Jessica Lay is UPIC’s Program Lead for UPICares, the organization’s philanthropic initiative.  She spends half of her time assisting patients through UPIC’s contact center and recently completed a degree in Aging Services Management. Follow us @UPICHealth.

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