A few years ago, a friend and I participated in a style challenge called Dressember. The idea behind this challenge was to wear a dress every day during the month of December to raise awareness for the worldwide human trafficking crisis. I participated that year and had fun trying new things with the existing items in my closet. However, I only participated that one year. It didn't really cross my mind again after that. Last week, I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts, The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey. Her guest was Blythe Hill, the founder of Dressember. Listening to how what began as a simple style challenge evolved into a foundation which has raised millions of dollars was fascinating.
Blythe began Dressember to raise awareness for human trafficking, which is a worldwide criminal epidemic. There are more than 30 million people enslaved today, and more than 2 million children are currently exploited in the global commercial sex trade. This issue is lurking within our backyards, and Atlanta is one of the top cities in the world known for human trafficking.
So this year, I am joining the Dressember challenge as an advocate. The plight of victims is especially near to my heart because of two facts:
- I experienced an incident with sexual abuse in my childhood.
- 60% of all child sex trafficking victims have a history in the child welfare (foster care) system. A high percentage of runaways from foster care will be trafficked within 48 hours of running away.
As a woman and a foster mom, this crisis means something to me. I may not have experienced forced labor, but I know the shame of being taken advantage of. And to think of any our kids who have lived in our home and have to be a part of our lives experiencing this injustice makes me very, very upset. Yes, I love clothes, and it just so happens that I love dresses and am very comfortable in them. But this is about so much more than a dress. This is about raising awareness and money to help victims of heinous acts find new life and recovery. We can make a difference by spreading the word
Friends, will you join me? I have created a new team through the Dressember site, and I would love to have you join me by participating as an advocate or by donating. My fundraising goal is $1,000. I figure that if 9 other people join me, we each can try to raise $100. Simple, right?
I will be posting my outfits each weekday on Instagram. I don't do social media on the weekends, and let's be real, sometimes I don't leave my house on Saturdays. ;) I would be so honored if you would join me!
You can learn more about the Dressember foundation here:
And you can donate or join my team here:
Let's do big things!