Tomorrow I will slip a simple unimpressive grey dress over my head and walk the halls of my unforgiving high school. Pledging to wear the same unfitted dress everyday until I graduate on June 4th is a scarier promise than I had imagined. But as I teeter on the edge on this campaign I remember why I initially made this promise. Years ago, I was sitting in church with my parents, most likely rolling my eyes, or playing sudoku on my dad's phone, or even rebelliously pretending to sleep, when the pastor Rich Nathan directed our attention to the front screens for a video. Being a young teenager I was immediately drawn in the familiar media display-But what I saw was not familiar. What was playing on the screen was a video from an organization called Love 146 which is an abolitionist movement fighting against child sex slavery and exploitation. Images of children in bondage and statistics about sex slavery flashed before my eyes. I was stunned. I shut my eyes tightly but hot tears spilled out over my eye lashes, racing down my checks and falling onto my clenched fists. My heart was broken for those women and children whose bodies and spirits had been mutilated by sex slavery. Even before I prayed and asked God for purpose and direction, He was showing me what broke His heart.
I wear this homely grey dress because I have to do something. My sister Becca told me of a women named Amy Seiffert who was wearing one dress for six months and donating the money she would have spent on clothes, or shoes etc. to The Daughter Project, which is a non-profit organization in Northwest Ohio that creates homes for girls who are survivors of trafficking and helps others escape from it. I was astonished and inspired. It seems small, but then I remembered the size of my closet and the amount of time I devote to my appearance...and realized that this is not a small undertaking. But my hope and prayer is that as I continue to wear this ordinary dress, people notice. People need to know that human trafficking is not just an issue in third world countries, but right here in Ohio there are some where around 1,500 victims a year. Numerically speaking there are more slaves in the United States today than when slavery was legal. I hope people will ask me why I seem to look oddly similar each day so that I can answer them: I put on this dress everyday as a reminder to pray for whose who are forced to degrade themselves for the pleasure of others. I'm wearing this to raise awareness to that fact that in our nation, in our state, in our very city, people are slaves.