Smalls for All founder recognised for her tireless efforts helping women in impoverished countries
A Livingston woman who sends underwear to impoverished females across the world has been awarded an MBE.
Maria Macnamara (below right) founded Smalls for All in 2009 after travelling to Africa and Thailand and seeing how a lack of clean underwear was denying women their dignity.
It was following her experience in Ethiopia that she decided to set up the organisation to which she now dedicates most of her free time.
Her home is now dubbed The Pantagon from where she sends thousands of donated bras and pants for women in developing countries, including those stranded in refugee camps while still holding down a full-time job.
The charity also funds the education of children in Kenya and Uganda.
Last year Smalls for All unwittingly achieved international renown after a post on Facebook asking for donations of bras went viral.
Just weeks later it led to Maria being contacted by the UK government to be told she was being named a Point of Light by Prime Minister David Cameron – a title in recognition of people who have committed themselves to outstanding volunteering and community roles.
On news of her award, Maria said: “I didn't dream for a moment that the work I'm doing with Smalls for All would be recognised in this way.
“It’s a real honour and great recognition for the charity and all our pantastic volunteers and supporters. Thank you everyone - it’s amazing.”
So far Smalls for All has collected over 230,000 items of underwear for distribution.