Our Story

We are a group of five students from the University of Manitoba who were chosen to participate in the 2023 Asper School of Business' President's Student Leadership Program.  The President's Student Leadership Program is an interdisciplinary program that allows student leaders to hone their leadership abilities via experiential learning, collaboration, and mentorship. If chosen, students will have the opportunity to learn from community leaders from across Winnipeg through tours of their organizations and/or mentorship.  Students also work with their peers to create a project that addresses a community need.

After visiting a homeless shelter during the President's Student Leadership Program core week of training, we witnessed the challenges faced by people experiencing homelessness and observed the dedication of the staff and volunteers that assisted them. Their unwavering commitment motivated us to support and empower these individuals through our project. We later visited Siloam Mission and discovered that there was a critical shortage of undergarments and socks. As a result, our goal became to raise awareness about this issue and collect donations for Siloam Mission. 

Thus, The Underwearness Project was born!

We are thrilled with our ongoing partnerships and collaborative awareness campaigns. These include:

(1) Two promotion and donation drives at the Real Canadian Superstore (Portage Ave. location; Summer 2023)

(2) Engaging discussion with Winnipeg's Mayor Scott Gillingham and donation collection from City Council (Fall 2023)

(3) Siloam Mission visit and donation drop with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers' star receiver Dalton Schoen, social media awareness campaign, and multi-week Bomber Store donation drive (February 2024)

... and more to come!

If you are interested in collaborating with us to run awareness campaigns or donation drives, please email scifive.pslp@gmail.com

Above: Siloam Mission site visit, where Winnipeg Blue Bomber visitors dropped off donations, met community members and were educated about Siloam's operations and ongoing initiatives. Left to right: Siloam Mission coordinator Curtiss Lowen, Winnipeg Blue Bomber receiver Dalton Schoen, The Underwearness team co-lead Allison Balasko.

Above: The Underwearness team and Mayor Gillingham at Winnipeg City Hall (September 5, 2023). Left to right: Joao, Hiwot, Mayor Scott Gillingham, Allison, Sam. Missing from the picture is Jesse Shen. 

Above: Our crew poses with the donations we received during our August 20, 2023 drive at Superstore.  Left to right: Sam, Joao, Hiwot, Allison. Missing from the picture is Jesse Shen. 

The Underwearness Project in the News

CBC Radio

Above: Co-lead Allison Balasko talks with Faith Fundal from CBC about the upcoming donation drive in collaboration with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. February 23, 2024. Link to interview embedded in post.

CTV News Winnipeg

Above: Co-lead Allison Balasko gives details on the Underwearness Project, which is collecting undergarments for those in need. February 26, 2024. Link to interview embedded in post.

Above: Co-leads Hiwot Jonk and  Allison Balasko give live updates on the donation drive happening at The Winnipeg Blue Bomber store. February 24, 2024. Link to interview embedded in post.

The Winnipeg Free Press

UM Today News