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2019 JLM Little Black Dress Initiative

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During the week of November 18th-22nd The Junior League of Morristown is launching The Little Black Dress Initiative; a social awareness campaign, which will seek to increase knowledge the poverty in NJ, by asking our members to wear one black dress or outfit for one work week to: (1) Highlight the effects of a lack of access to resources and to provide the JLM a platform to share about the work we do to help in these issue areas; (2) Understand how limited resources can affect daily life; and (3) Fundraise to support the mission of the Junior League of Morristown.

What is the Little Black Dress Initiative?
The Junior League of Morristown (JLM) is running its fourth annual Little Black Dress Initiative (LBDI). LBDI is a poverty awareness and fundraising campaign that sheds light on the “invisible poverty” that surrounds us, with the goal of raising awareness and funds to help lift the burden carried by the most vulnerable in our community. The Junior League of Morristown is aiming to raise $15,000 in five days. This goal is to further our mission and community impact focus area: to addressing the unmet needs of teens in Morris County and surrounding areas to ensure ample food, resources and education needed to develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

League members throughout Morris County will wear one black dress or outfit for five days to illustrate the effects poverty can have on a woman’s access to resources, confidence and opportunities. They will wear a pin that says, “Ask Me About My Dress,” to spark conversation and spread awareness of the initiative and its objectives.

Why is LBDI necessary?
  • In 2017, over 28,000 people in Morris County were food insecure, meaning they did not have consistent access to adequate food.  
  • 1 in 5 low income women have reported missing work, school, or similar events due to lack of access to feminine hygiene products, which are deemed a luxury item and are excluded from all state and federal assistance programs. 
  • 224 human trafficking cases were reported in New Jersey in 2018; tow of the top five risk factors for human trafficking are unstable housing and homeless youth.
  • In New Jersey, 51% of jobs pay less than $20 per hour, with 70% of those jobs paying $15 or less.  A full time job that pays $15 per hour grosses $30,000, which is less than half of the Household Survival Budget for a family for four.
  • For the 2017-2018 school year, 6,994 students in Morris County are receiving free or reduced lunches.

Over the last three years, over 80 members have participated to help "Make Poverty Unfashionable!", raising over $50,000 to date to support the mission of the JLM. Funds raised through LBDI allow the JLM to improve our community and provide our volunteers with leadership, training, and development opportunities