Meet Lisa Blackmore: An Advocate, Photographer, Mother & Foster Parent
When Lisa Blackmore of the Pacific Northwest, first heard of human trafficking in a documentary called “Honor Code,” her mindset changed entirely.
“It really impacted me and I took it personally,” Blackmore said. “I knew about [trafficking] a little bit before, but it just really made me angry and I think that had to do with the fact that I have a daughter. I just thought if she were trafficked or oppressed, ‘Who would stand up for her?’”
Soon after watching the documentary, Blackmore learned about Dressember. She advocated on her own for a year or two before starting a team called "Beauty and Dignity" with her best friend, Jessica.
Blackmore said the biggest surprise for her while advocating was the support of Jessica and other team members.
“We had almost 60 women sign up for our team, and I just thought to myself, ‘Wow.’ I think that people are just really hungry to help out.”
But Blackmore didn’t take the traditional advocacy route. She didn’t take to social media. She decided to write personal emails.
“A lot of people [on social media] just scroll past and don’t really care,” Blackmore said. “I wrote personal emails to all of my family members.”
She said that people are more apt to join the cause and donate if they see someone dedicated and willing to send a letter that is more personal.
Along with personalizing her campaign, Lisa decided to gather her team and get them focused on their goal by hosting a photoshoot with her team in downtown Tacoma, Washington. She said that seeing the girls dressing up and coming together for portraits made it worthwhile and gave the ladies fun content to post on their pages.
“It was like Prom, but with my girlfriends. They each got portraits,” Blackmore said. “It felt like I got to use my dream and my talent to help other people.”
For her, it was inspiring to see her team advocate.
“Some said, ‘If I raise 100 dollars today, I am going to see the new Star Wars movie in my Wedding Dress,’ and it just made it really fun,” Lisa said.
But the most inspiring person to her would be her mother.
“My mom inspires me. While we were growing up, my mom took in foster babies,” Lisa said. “She is just really compassionate and she has a really soft heart.”
Following her mother’s path, Blackmore is a foster mom herself, and credits her passion for Dressember and her empathy for others to to being a mom.
Blackmore said that another tip would be for an advocate to put forth some of their own money at the start of their campaign.
“I found that by putting effort into my own fundraising, I am showing people I am [doing] this. If people look at that page and see it as zero, as opposed to seeing 100 dollars, people will see that they are serious.”
Lisa said that participating in Dressember has inspired her to tackle a project of her own— one that focuses specifically on her hometown. She does not know the full details yet, but is excited to fight trafficking close to home, as well as internationally.
“The more that you open yourself to learning about what is going on in the world, the more compassion you have and the more you want to do,” Blackmore said. “As someone who has done Dressember, I would say to do something different like my friend Jessica and I did. It will be fun and it will help grow your team.”
Lisa and Jessica decided that the photo shoot would be a fun way to raise awareness and help their team members feel valued. Other ideas to make advocating more fun would be to host an information night, offer an incentive for team members who raise the most money, and get together with friends to share photos on social media.
Lisa Blackmore has found a beautiful connection between her passion for photography and her desire to be a part of the solution regarding modern-day slavery. She has done a phenomenal job leading a team the past few years by incorporating fun team building ideas into the campaign. Thanks for the tips, Lisa! You can check out more of Lisa & Jessica's photography by clicking on their logos below.
Haven't had a chance to sign up for #dressember yet? October is a great month to start rallying your team and preparing for the Winter!
About the Author
Miranda Lintzenich is an analog girl stuck in a digital world. A little quirkier than most, Miranda enjoys 70s music, odd clothing styles, working at her school newspaper and serving pizza on the side