Last month in December I wore 31 dresses. It is a bit embarrassing to admit that I have (more than) 31 dresses and that I wore a different one every day, but that is not the point of this post.
I wore 31 dresses and did everything I had to do in my normal routine of life without having to compromise anything. I wore 31 dresses (and lots of leggings!) on the cold days and the warmer days, the rainy days and even in the snow.
Because I wanted to be part of something bigger than myself.
When I first asked some friends and family members to join my team after telling them what I was doing, they probably thought I was crazy. And that’s okay; I will admit that most days I spent at home as a homeschooling mother and student myself, so it may have seemed easier for me to do it.
So I scrubbed toilets and cleaned floors and did laundry and was all so domestic in my dress. But then I also played in the snow with my kids, went to work, played outside, hosted Christmas, went to church, and did all the other social and business and meaningful things in a dress.
Because it was about more than the dress. It was about taking back the dress, so to speak, to show that one can really do anything in a dress . Because too many people find the dress as a sign of weakness, inequality, and even subordination.
I relish my womanhood, my feminine aspects and who God created me as a female. I love dresses and pretty things and make-up, and I know those are not the things that define me as female or even as human. Yet too many people today, especially women and children, are not relishing in who they are, or want to continue to wear the same torn and ragged dress they have worn for months, or even feel like they are human anymore.
Because these people are still trapped in slavery, still trapped in the status of the largest slave industry in world history, still trapped and waiting to be delivered. And you are probably wondering what all this has to do with my 31 dresses.
I signed up to be a part of a movement where I, and many others, were challenged to wear a dress every day in December and to speak out on social media against human trafficking and to raise money for organizations that rescue those individuals trapped in slavery and bring justice and restore hope. I wore a dress and posted it on my social media and encouraged my family and friends to donate. My teammate and I raised a little over $400 of our $1000 goal and the organization is now close to raising $2 million.
That money is going to free real people from real trafficking. Girls and boys from sex trafficking. Families from forced labor. Women from brothels and men from factories where they are trapped in an endless cycle of debt to their “employer.” Real people who need to know they are valued and of worth and loved and that there are others fighting for them.
January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month and today is Human Trafficking Prevention Day. I have learned so much this past month about human trafficking, of being more aware of our own parts we play, whether we realize it or not, and I am determined to do better. I am more aware of where my clothes and coffee and chocolate and jewelry are coming from, I am actively choosing to purchase from those companies who are helping restore the lives of those rescued, and I am educating myself on how I can do more. I hope and pray that others will too.
Today, just for today, could we all honor those who are still fighting for freedom and those fighting for others to be free and make ourselves a little more aware? Today, could we all join together and help finish a small goal I set last month and help realize a bigger goal and the need to free others?
I don’t often ask for things on my blog or share links to other things unless I find it important. And this need- these women and men and children- are important. Together, we can all be more aware and work toward ending slavery and freeing our brothers and sisters.
I wore 31 dresses and I am better for it. I am empowered with knowledge and understanding and the chance to do something more.
Would you join me?
To donate to my team, please go to www.dressember.org and select donate, and then donate to a specific advocate. You can type in my name or select “Team” and search for Team Free.