This Spring I read the book One Dress. One Year.: One Girl’s Stand Against Human Trafficking by Bethany Winz and Susanna Foth Aughtmon. It made me wonder if One Dress. One Year and the Little Black Dress Project were somewhat connected.
But before I go into that, the book? How was it? Overall, I thought is was a great light read and seemed geared at teens or young adults who want to change the world and make a difference. It also highlighted some great organizations and is a great introduction to human trafficking.
You can get One Dress. One Year. here.
The Process A World Changer Goes Through
In fact, I felt the storyline really was similar to my own as a world changer. So often we have such high aspirations when we step off a cliff and jump to do good for others. We then often are disappointed when others don’t respond how we think they should. But, through that, we mature, are refined and are transformed.
(Here are bits of my own story, How Becoming a Humanitarian Blogger Went Better Than Planned or An Average World Changer’s Identity, which show similarities to Bethany’s if you are interested.)
Bethany’s story doesn’t surprise me, but rather, I add it to the evidence of the stages of becoming a world changer. I loved seeing my hypothesis on finding their best role as a world changer being played out in this book, and it makes me curious to see where she will go over time. Why? Because being a world changer is just as much about who we are as what we do, which is why I coach people to help them through this process.
But enough about that and back to the book. If you want an easy read to help see how a world-changer unfolds, I highly suggest reading or skimming through One Dress. One Year. I found it very encouraging, while giving a great glimpse of some of the orgs fighting trafficking.
Is There a Connection Between The Little Black Dress Project & One Year. One Dress.?
One of the most surprising things about this book was that Bethany Winz started her journey around the same time I started the Little Black Dress Project over five years ago.
(You can see why here: When You Can’t Stand It Anymore: The Real Reason I Started the Little Black Dress Project.)
If you aren’t familiar with the LBD Project, this is a month-long challenge that goes down once a year where random people around the U.S.A. wear the same black item of clothing for a month to raise awareness and funds for human trafficking. So far we ordinary people have raised just a little less than $30,000 as we seek justice together in partnerships with other organizations. (Go ahead and check out the Little Black Dress Project website or join here!)
Before I started the LBD Project, I had heard of a few pioneers using the same item of clothing for some reason or another. One lady (who doesn’t exist in the online world anymore) was doing it for minimalism. There was another fashionista-like girl who did this to raise funds for a girls school in India through the Uniform Project (which stopped being active awhile ago).
I also saw a blog post or magazine article (I can’t remember which) about some girl who was going to wear the same black dress to raise money for fighting human trafficking. I don’t even know if she had started her personal challenge yet, and I could never find that article again when I looked for it. I had no clue who it was, but now, suspiciously, I wonder if somehow I had run accross Bethany Winz.
She started her year in a black dress mid-January, just two weeks before February, 2012, when the Little Black Dress Project was born (which I then called Action: Little Black Dress but every one just called it “project” so that stuck instead).
Why is this important?
Maybe it isn’t.
But maybe, it is evidence that in our digital world, you are impacting more people than you realize. Maybe Bethany Winz had a greater impact than she even knows she has in the fight against trafficking, maybe almost $30,000 greater.
Earlier this year I wrote Everyone Has a Jen; Everyone Needs a Jen (Why You Shouldn’t Give Up) as evidence that people watch what we do even when we don’t realize it. You might make one post on Facebook no one even “liked.” But maybe one person saw it, and three years down the road they will remember it, spurring them on in their own journey as they become a world changer.
So, four things:
1.) Don’t grow weary in doing good.
2.) While not growing weary in doing good, don’t find your identity in doing good either.
3.) Check out One Dress. One Year.