Dressember Club Raises Awareness for Human Trafficking


Lucy Hughitt

Over 32 boys and girls joined the Dressember club this year. Their goal was originally to raise $3,000 but they already have over $3,800 in donations. Students in their dresses and ties post pictures on their social media and promote a link that drives donors to their website.

Isabella Colby, Clubs Editor

Dressember is a month long campaign that was created by Blythe Hill in 2013. The purpose is to wear a dress or tie everyday of December in order to show support for victims of human trafficking.

It raises awareness on how present human trafficking still is and promotes change in the community by fundraising for relief, rehabilitation and resources for victims. This is a tradition that helps to empower and fundraise for the people who have been affected by this horrible industry.

At SJHHS, the Dressember Club, led by senior Luciana Benzan and junior Lucy Hodge, are promoting the campaign in order to get more students involved. They began their journey as sophomores because of the involvement of Hodge family. Hodge’s mom found out about Dressember and encouraged Lucy and the rest of her family to participate. Hodge and Benzan are both invested in spreading the ideas and purpose of Dressember in an effort to start conversation and raise awareness.

“A lot of people, especially our age, don’t even think slavery is real. They think it is something in the past,” said Lucy Hodge, one of the presidents. Both presidents explained how little it is talked about among high schoolers, which is one of the primary reasons for their club.

“Dressember’s purpose is to remind people that our job isn’t done, there are still people to free, there are still people who need help,” said Benzan. A lot of people assume there isn’t anything one person alone can do, but by donating, participating or even just spreading the word, that is helping.

That dress is a constant reminder, not just for the people in your life, but for you as well for what you are fighting for. The minute it’s on, you are an advocate and you are making sure people know what is happening in the world.

— Luciana Benzan

Many people are hesitant to wear a dress everyday because not everyone has enough dresses to wear all throughout December, as well as many people aren’t interested in wearing a dress.

“It was a challenge because I don’t wear dresses, but you have to look beyond that and see the message behind it,” said Hodge.

It may not be ideal or easy to wear a dress everyday for a month, but it is a fairly easy way to spread the word that something so horrible is still going on today. Hodge, as well as other members of the SJHHS Dressember club, are planning to wear only one dress throughout the entire month of December to debunk the common myth that you have to own a lot of dresses to participate.

“That dress is a constant reminder, not just for the people in your life, but for you as well for what you are fighting for. The minute it’s on, you are an advocate and you are making sure people know what is happening in the world.” said Benzan.

Both Hodge and Benzan both had a hard time in the beginning with the thought of wearing a dress everyday for a month, but in the end they both explained that it was one of the greatest things they’d ever done.

Last year, the club raised more than $2,000, and have made over $3,000 this year.

Junior Ajay Bhatia, Junior and president of the International Justice Club at SJHHS, is also participating in Dressember by wearing a tie throughout the month of December. “It always scares me that it could happen to anyone, it could happen to someone close to you or someone close to someone else, and it can ruin people’s lives,” said Bhatia.

Ajay also explained that he got involved due to his peers Riley Goodfellow and Lucy Hodge participating, and through the creation of the club itself.

Last year, about 8,000 men and women committed to wearing dresses and ties, and they raised over $2MM USD toward the fight to end modern day slavery. Many people have participated and donated to the organization to help benefit this influential and important cause. Dressember is continuously growing, and every donation counts.

To learn more about the organization visit www.dressember.org.