Dressember Challenge: Wear a Dress, Stop Human Trafficking


Danielle Lippert , Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

What can a dress do?

I never would’ve asked myself this question two years ago. A dress was a dress. It was something I wore out to a nice dinner or to Christmas at my grandparents. What else could a dress even do?

Like most people, to me a dress didn’t mean anything, until I found the organization Dressember. Their vision was simple and one most people would agree with: a world without slavery.

Unlike other organizations fighting modern-day slavery, otherwise known as human trafficking, Dressember educates and helps raise money by having its participators wear a dress every day during the month of December.

I found Dressember about half way through last December and decided it was a little too late to start the journey. Throughout the next year, Dressember stayed in the back of my head. I wanted to do it. I wanted to commit to wearing a dress every day for the month of December. I wanted to help make a difference. I wanted to help others to see the world in a different way.

So when November came along and registration opened, I signed up and created my Dressember page. I started spreading the word to my friends and family and started to think about wearing dresses everyday for a month. It started to make me a little nervous.

I live in Wisconsin, and the month of December is anything but warm. I’m usually bundled up in jeans, a sweater and boots during the winter, but I’d have to change that. I also didn’t know what to say to people. I was scared people just wouldn’t get it.

My fears were quickly washed away as December began. I learned how to wear a dress and still keep warm. I learned how to layer and switch up how I wore a dress, so I wasn’t wearing the same three outfits all month.

I also was shocked with all of the support I began to get. When people pointed out that I was wearing a dress, I’d explain to them Dressember’s mission and goal and why I decided to do it.

Of course, people still get confused. Why this cause? Why fight human trafficking? My answer was rather simple. I learned about it far too late in my life, and I didn’t want that to happen to anyone else. Also, it’s happening right here in Green Bay. Last October, fifteen people were arrested in the Green Bay area who were involved in a nationwide sex trafficking ring. They found a two-year-old boy who was being sex trafficked.

As December goes on and my legs get colder and colder, I encourage everyone to do more research about human trafficking and to donate to my Dressember page (https://support.dressemberfoundation.org/fundraiser/danielle-lippert). The proceeds go towards urgent needs and after-care for victims and towards rescue operations.

I’m here to give a voice to those who feel they don’t have one anymore. What can a dress do? Well, a dress can fight slavery.