Finishing the #Dressember Challenge
For the month of December, several Copts joined together to form a team to participate in “Dressember,” a yearly challenge where women pledge to wear a dress every day for the month of December (and men pledged to wear ties/bowties) to both fundraise and raise awareness about the sex trafficking industry. This year, our team not only surpassed our $1,000 fundraising goal, but we went $300 over our goal.
Below, members of the Coptic Voice’s team share their experiences participating in the #DressemberChallenge in 2017:
“Dressember is an eye opening experience that allowed me to stay consistent towards a good cause. It’s not just about wearing a dress and it’s not even just about sexual slavery, but rather it’s about being able to connect with pain and sufferings of fellow brothers and sisters and choosing to stand by them even though you’ve never experienced their pain yourself. Dressember has instilled in me a drive and active passion towards finding that little bit of humanity I believe the world is in need of today. And I’m more than happy to be a part of it!”
“Dressember has been one of the most fulfilling campaigns I’ve ever been a part of. I committed to wearing a tie through the month of December, and it completely changed my perspective. Aside from the weird looks I got in the library during finals week, many people approached me and asked why I was wearing a shirt and tie during the coldest, most stressful time of the year for any college student. I routinely told them I made a commitment to wear a tie throughout the month to advocate against sex trafficking. At times these encounters would lead to great conversation and donations, but they would always lead to awareness. The tie was inconvenient, but the cause was well worth the trouble. I would motivate myself to stay consistent with the campaign by remembering the voiceless victims of this abuse, and I would tell myself that I was doing a great thing. The small amount I was able to raise will make a difference, the awareness spread through curious strangers was a giant leap forward in the fight for justice, but in all honesty, no one benefited from this campaign more than myself. This was extremely inconvenient, but I learned that service is never comfortable; actually, Christianity itself is meant to be uncomfortable. Abraham was uncomfortable while preparing to slay Isaac in obedience to God; Peter was not comfortable when he stepped onto the water in obedience to Christ, and Christ was definitely not comfortable hanging on the cross for the salvation of the world. It goes without saying that this campaign doesn’t compare to what these amazing people went through, but Dressember gave me a small opportunity to be uncomfortable. For once, December was bigger than hot chocolate by the fireplace and hectic Christmas shopping. Everyday in December I woke up and put on a tie, but more importantly, I was given the opportunity to put someone else’s needs before my own, and for that I am most thankful.”
“I have so much enjoyed participating in Dressember. Wearing a dress in the cold reminds me of how fortunate I am to have warmth and safety. It’s been nice to raise money for a good cause.”
“Dressember has given me more knowledge than I anticipated. First off, I didn’t fully understand how the sex trafficking industry worked, and how many people it affected. It’s so heartbreaking to know that I-and many people- were so blinded from what else is occurring. There are more people enslaved today than ever in history, and Dressemner has given me a voice to speak against it. Secondly, people need a lot of motivation to donate to such a cause. Since Dressember is mostly an online campaign, people just aren’t as involved as buying a pie for a sports team. This especially affects people my age who don’t really have access to an online transaction.”
“Dressember isn’t just 31 days of wearing a dress. It’s so much more. Being someone who usually expresses myself wearing jeans and the closest top, Dressember was a little out of my comfort zone. It’s a commitment to stay uncomfortable for those who are coerced into an uncomfortable lifestyle for any human being. By joining a community of global change advocates who wish to do something about this injustice, I have learned how important it is to be part of a support group that keeps you moving forward and causes global movement towards peace. I want to say thank you to everyone that supported me in this endeavor, your kinds words of support mean more than you know. Year 2 of Dressember is done and I can’t wait for the lessons and inspiring stories I will gain in year 3.”