Meet Kelsey Albers: New Advocate with Big Aspirations
Dressember has been running for officially three years now, but 2017 marked the first for 33-year-old mom, weight-lifter, youth-leader, and farmer, Kelsey Albers, of Rochelle, Illinois.
Albers decided to join Dressember because of the shock she felt from human trafficking statistics she learned from other advocates, who she previously mentored, last year on social media. Albers said the statistics were unknown to her before, and the magnitude of the problem surprised her.
“I remember just thinking the statistics were amazing. It was really hard for me to believe them and to know that this is still happening. This is still an issue,” Albers said. “It made me just want to run and hug my son.”
Being a mom, Kelsey said she has gained more empathy for others.
“I just think that those victims are somebody that someone else loves. They are someone’s [child]” Albers said. “Being a mother has made me much more empathetic and sympathetic, and had also made my heart soft for the world. It’s horrifying to me. Some other mother is going through that.”
Kelsey said that when she was younger, she did not imagine the hardships and horrors of the world, but with a child to think about, she finds herself worrying more about his future. She had years of experience as a youth leader at her church to help prepare her, though.
“Having been a youth leader and so close to teenage girls, [knowing they could face being trafficked] is hard to handle. I don’t personally know how hard it is for the victims and it is hard to put a face with the issue, but imagining it could be one of those girls that I know…” Kelsey said.
Albers also sponsors a girl named Diana, in El Salvador from Compassion International.
“In El Salvador, trafficking could easily happen. I could get a letter from Compassion that says, ‘Diana disappeared.’ Children are just so innocent and it makes my blood boil,” Albers said. “I just want to go actively fight it, but that is not an option right now, so Dressember seems like the perfect choice [to get involved].”
As a nutritionist, Albers said she tries to stay conscious of her consumption, especially when it comes to food.
“I know what we don’t always talk about, as consumers, is how chocolate, bananas, and coffee are the most common items made with slave labor,” Kelsey said. “I try to be aware and buy family raised meats, and make sure what I am buying is good for the environment.”
Albers said she also has to do her research and double check what she is buying.
“I just have to ask, ‘Can it really be good for the environment if it is supporting slave labor?’ Those things just don’t go together. It’s not okay,” Kelsey said.
Kelsey said she tries her best to make changes in her life, as much as possible.
“I would want people to know that I am somebody who tries to be as authentic as possible,” Albers said. “I try to live by my beliefs and morals and live authentically as possible. From what I eat, to what I teach my child and even where I spend most of my time. I try to put my money where my mouth is.”
Albers said she tries to live uncomfortably, which for her means to push herself out of her comfort zone as much as possible. For Albers, she admires that quality of the Dressember mission.
“I want to spend this challenge being uncomfortable,” Albers said. “Asking people for money is hard for me. Learning facts like those make me physically ill. I don't like wearing dresses. That [discomfort] is part of slavery and human trafficking.”
Kelsey said that even having a choice to be uncomfortable is still a privilege.
“I’m hoping as a result, I’ll grow in every angle. As a mom, and [in my faith],” Albers said.
We at Dressember thank Kelsey for her interview. Being an advocate can sometimes cause discomfort in changing our wardrobes, asking for money, and speaking up for others. But making a small difference in such a big issue makes all the nerves and discomfort worth it in the end
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.