Thoughtfully Approaching Black Friday

80% of the hands making the clothes we wear every day are the hands of young women. The vast majority are between 18-24 years old, and these women go home with an average of $3 a day. This is, by definition, exploitation: “The action or fact of treating someone unfairly in order to benefit from their work.” We would not blink an eye at buying a shirt on sale for $13, much less $3, and yet for thousands of women, they are ill-treated and forced to live on amounts we cannot fathom.

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Maddie’s story

At times in her childhood, Maddie* experienced homelessness. Poverty and the lack of caring adults in her life made her vulnerable, and her sexual exploitation began at a young age. This included a sickening cyber-porn operation in which she was exploited in front of a webcam. Maddie came to Love146 at age 11, where she received trauma-informed counselling, individualized care, and was able to explore lots activities that interested her, including gardening, caring for farm animals, and sports.

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From Passivity to Passion: My Journey to Advocacy

From the time I applied to go to Cambodia I began using the topic of human trafficking for just about everything. If I needed to write a paper - that was my topic. If I needed to do a report - it was focused on human trafficking. If I needed to give a presentation - you bet I was going to find a way to work human trafficking into it.

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An Advocate's Guide to Hosting a Clothing Swap

Dressember’s key goal is to raise awareness and financial support for our grant partners who are working to end modern day slavery, but we are always striving to make an even larger impact around the world. One of the ways that we see this happening is through sustainable and ethical shopping. 

We know that for a lot of people Dressember seems intimidating for the sole purpose of not feeling like we can have a big enough impact because of how little we perceive we can raise. If you’re looking for a fun, interactive way to raise money for Dressember that also incorporates sustainable and ethical practices then maybe it’s time you considered hosting a clothing swap!

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What if nobody asks me about my dress or tie?

So, you’re halfway through the month of December and you’re feeling a little bit discouraged because people aren’t noticing the fact that you’re wearing a dress or a tie. I’ve been there and I feel your pain, friend. Going into my fourth year of being a Dressember advocate, this is one of the biggest obstacles and insecurities to overcome. So, let’s chat about it!

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"A Responsibility To History:” Amanda's Why

I am an advocate because I grew up reading and learning about men and women who did not turn their backs when the world proved to be a dark place. They saw the barbarity and nefarious actions of their fellow countrymen and took a stand. Humble but steadfast, they fought for their ideals - knowing full well that they may never see them in their lifetime, but discerning that fighting for anything less would be to lose the battle from the beginning. To compromise even in the slightest when it came to the matter of human souls would be to concede the crusade altogether.

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“I will raise my voice:” Katherina’s why

I advocate because there are so many people who don’t realize that this injustice is happening right in their cities and neighbourhoods. I speak from personal experience, because for a long time I was completely unaware of human trafficking. And even once I had heard about it, I didn’t think too much about it because there was no way that it was happening in Calgary, my hometown. As I continued through school, my youth group went on several inner-city missions trips, and it was there that I came face-to-face with the stark reality that human trafficking and prostitution do, in fact, happen in my hometown.

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Passion Lilie: Fashion that Empowers

The sight of women working full-time hours, yet not earning a living wage was profoundly disturbing to Katie, who was realizing first-hand the benefits of a fair trade system. Troubled by this injustice and touched by her encounters with the artisans, Katie wanted to spring to action. When she asked the workshop owner if it would be appropriate to give an artisan money, he answered, “No, they don’t want charity. They want jobs.” These words ultimately inspired the beginning of Passion Lilie in January of 2013.

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Heather Leith: Advocating All Year Long

It was 2012 when Biola University junior, Heather Leith, decided to participate in Dressember for the first time. Because her sister, Shannon, is close friends with Dressember’s founder, Blythe Hill, she’s heard about it since the very beginning. As that year’s campaign came to an end, she found herself discouraged that she hadn’t met her goal. She questioned whether her meager amount would make any impact in the lives of trafficking victims.

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Kendall's Story

Kendall* is a 17-year-old youth who entered the justice system when he was arrested and charged with robbery. His problematic behavior started early on due to a strained relationship with his mother. Days after being referred to youthSpark’s Youth Services Center, Kendall was open with Center staff about his past.

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