Little Black Dress Initiative bringing awareness to poverty, upward mobility in Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Starting on Monday, you're going to see a lot of women in Charlotte wear the same black dress for five consecutive days. It's to support the Little Black Dress Initiative. The Junior League of Charlotte is behind the campaign that's raising money and awareness for an issue affecting a lot of people in the community.

"It is our biggest fundraiser but more than that it is the way that we tell our story," Arina Kirk, who is the president of the Junior League of Charlotte, said.

You can feel the excitement at a gathering inside the Junior League of Charlotte building all for the start of the Little Black Dress Initiative. "This is something that is open to anyone who wants to participate," says Kirk.

Women who have signed up to participate will wear the same black dress starting on Monday for five consecutive days. It's all to bring attention to the poverty and upward mobility issue in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County.

"I just read the number is 170,000 people in Mecklenburg County are affected by poverty and homelessness," Kelly-Ann Fasano, who is the fund development manager of the Junior League of Charlotte, said. "That's our neighbors, that's people in the community, that's people you may see, that's people you may not see. and that's why we're all getting together to talk about the issue."

Much of that discussion will take place through social media channels including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and email. A certain accessory worn with a fundraiser's black dress is designed to spark conversation as well as face-to-face.

"You have some of the best conversations with people in the grocery store, people you work with every day. Maybe they don't talk to you about it the first day but maybe by the third day they see your button they say what's the deal," Fasano said.

"By day three or four, they actually stopped and asked me about it and we had some great conversation about the Junior League and the impact that we have right here in the Junior League of Charlotte," Kirk said.

That impact is made possible through the five days worth of donations that are being collected for the initiative.

"Our goal is bold this year, we are shooting for 60,000 dollars," says Kirk.

You can learn more about the Little Black Dress Initiative and donate here.

Here are examples of how your donation can help:

  • A $25 donation pays for books and activities for one reader at Promising Pages which supports students in Title 1 schools.
  • $50 pays for two weeks of meals for a family of five through the Second Harvest Food Bank.
  • A $500 donation provides a care package for a family of four through the Ada Jenkin’s Center including dental screenings, medical clinic visit, job assistance, a monthly heating bill and groceries.

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