Group Participates in Dressember to Support International Justice Mission
Sara Hoy has donned a dress every day this month so far — but she’s not the only one.
Men and women internationally have turned out their wardrobes for Dressember, a campaign dedicated to combating human trafficking through awareness and fundraising.
Hoy, of State College, is part of a group of six local women participating in Dressember for the first time this year.
As someone who follows social justice issues, Hoy discovered Dressember through social media, and then pitched the idea to her friends.
“It took off from there,” she says.
The women started planning in November, and on Dec. 1 at church, each was wearing a dress.
Dressember participants wear dresses every day during the month of December to celebrate the freedom of beauty and femininity that they’re allowed, and to raise awareness and funds on behalf of those who aren’t free, according to Dressember’s website.
Hoy’s friends shared the campaign with others across the country, gathering more interest, support and participation. One friend, a teacher, even has her students participating.
The cause is important, Hoy explains, because human trafficking and sexual exploitation are issues that don’t just happen overseas.
“They happen here,” she says. “They happen everywhere, not just far away. These things are not OK.”
Hoy thinks it’s important to talk and learn about these issues, and to have a voice.
“This is another way that we can stand up,” she says.
One hundred percent of the funds raised during Dressember go directly to the International Justice Mission, a human rights organization that has worked for more than 15 years to bring rescue to victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and violent oppression, according to Dressember’s website.
The Dressember campaign started in 2009 as a quirky style challenge. In 2013 its focus became opposing human trafficking by aligning with International Justice Mission. Those who participate in Dressember also seek to raise awareness and funds for IJM’s work to continue, the website states.