The Little Black Dress Initiative (LBDI) is a global initiative sponsored by Junior Leagues throughout the country and the UK to raise awareness on the impact of poverty.
The Junior League of Saint Joseph, MO (JLSJ) will hold their inaugural Little Black Dress Initiative from May 8-12, 2017. During this week, JLSJ members will wear a little black dress for five consecutive days to symbolically illustrate the effects poverty can have on society. Participants are encouraged to raise awareness using social media and by wearing a button that reads “Ask me About my Dress”. Members will invite and welcome dialogue among colleagues, friends, and strangers to raise awareness about the effects of poverty and raise funds to support the JLSJ and two of our partner agencies.
How can you help?
Spread the word - Help us build awareness using social media platforms by sharing our posts or participate yourself by wearing a little black dress from May 8-12.
Donate to the cause - Our goal for the 2017 LBDI is to raise $1000.
Who will benefit from funds raised?
Money raised during this awareness and fundraising campaign will benefit JLSJ and our grant recipients.
One of the recipients will be Second Harvest Community Foodbank. This local agency provides meals to millions of food insecure families throughout 10 couties in Northwest Missouri. Last year, Second Harvest distributed 5.7 million pounds of food. They provide help in a variety of ways to our neighbours through programs like Senior Boxes, Backpack Buddies, Campus Cupboard and Fresh Start.
Another recipient is the SJSD Care Closet, a program that services our area middle and high schools in providing essential items such as clean clothes, shoes, and hygienic products to students in need. Because many of our impoverished students lack these basic necessities, their education is often impacted. The Care Closet assists these families so that their children so that their children can attend school without worry.
What you need to know about poverty in Missouri
Missouri’s poverty rate is 15.5% overall and over 21% for children. In real numbers, poverty in Missouri impacts over 908,628 individuals, and 287,081 of those are children who have little control over their situation.
Missouri has the seventh highest food insecurity rate in the country, with 16.8% of its population classified as food insecure. In addition, 7.9% of Missourians have very low food security, meaning there are “multiple indications of disrupted eating patterns and reduced food intake.”
Missourians living in poverty are more vulnerable to experiencing the following:
- No healthcare insurance
- Lower life expectancies
- Increased risk of chronic diseases, diabetes, heart disease, and weight gain.
- Mental health issues of psychological distress, anxiety, depression, and suicide.
- Substandard Housing carrying additional cost burdens
Download the 2016 Missouri Poverty Report here: http://www.communityaction.org/poverty-reports/
As Nelson Mandela said, “Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life.”