By Marci Narum
It’s a little embarrassing to admit it…but here goes: I had options for this campaign. I had to decide WHICH dress I was going to wear. The one I chose was from a special occasion more than a year ago. A dress that I hadn’t worn since. It was in the back of my closet, tucked away in the dark. A perfectly nice, hardly-worn, beautiful little black dress.
Shedding light on it, I noticed that I had to dust off the shoulder seams. I held it up to myself in the mirror and thought, “oh this is such a cute dress! Why haven’t I worn it?” I tried it on–and I was so relieved. It fit.
But there were others…three other dresses that I could have chosen. They all fit, too. I smiled about it, thinking–“gee, which one should I wear?” But at day three of this campaign, I feel much differently. My heart is heavy. Why do I have four black dresses? One of which I wore once, maybe twice–and then forgot.
That little black dress is now getting more light and more wear than it ever has. So, it occurred to me that the same is true with the Little Black Dress Campaign. It is shedding light on an issue that people so easily hear about once and then forget. We learn this week that 1 in 12 women live in poverty. In NORTH DAKOTA. The most prosperous state in the country. We hear these things but they easily move to the back of our minds, just like my dress spent so much time in the back of my closet.
The women participating in the #littleblackdress campaign are shedding light on these and other staggering statistics–plus raising money for United Way programs that help lift women out of poverty. You can support my campaign here.
Once I shed my little black dress– after wearing it for a straight week–it will be professionally dry-cleaned, but it won’t go back into the back of my closet. It will continue to enjoy the light of day on one of those 1 in 12 women. A woman who doesn’t have the “options” of WHICH dress to wear.
I am so very grateful for this dress and for this campaign. It has given me purpose beyond the little black dress. I have purged my closet. I will keep one of my black dresses, but I will donate three, along with several other dresses and work suits to the Seeds of Hope Career Closet. My hope and prayer is that women in our community who are struggling to support themselves and their families will feel CONFIDENT putting on professional, well cared-for clothes as they sit down for a job interview, work on a resume…or on their first day of a new job.
Want to help celebrate the campaign’s success? Attend the Little Black Dress Campaign Celebration! Purchase tickets or RSVP here. Spouses welcome.
See if you know any of the participants. View a list here.