Little Black Dress Initiative

Georgia has one of the highest poverty rates for children in the United States, with over 26 percent of children living in poverty. Some statistics say that over 40 percent of single family homes are living below the poverty line. Growing up in poverty is one of the greatest threats to healthy child development. Poverty and financial stress can impede a child’s cognitive development and their ability to learn.

For the past two years, The Junior League of Gainesville-Hall County has joined all Junior Leagues of Georgia to participate in the Little​ ​Black​ ​Dress​ ​Initiative​ (LBDI) to shed light on the existence of generational poverty and its effects on women and children that face limited choices every day. The LBDI, which was an initiative started by The Junior League of London, involves

League members wearing one black dress for five days to illustrate the effects poverty can have on a woman’s access to resources, confidence and opportunities. We have had strong participation by active members who wear a single black dresses for five consecutive days with a pin that says, “Ask Me about the Dress,” to spark conversation and spread awareness of the initiative and its objectives. Each participating member has a sponsorship page on the Fundraiser website where donations can be made to support this initiative.

For the past two years, we have partnered with Habitat for Humanity and have been able to donate over $25,000 that was raised during those campaigns. Last year, we had a number of League members who also ended the week of LBDI by assisting with a Habitat for Humanity home build on Saturday.

This year, LBDI will be taking place the week of March 19-23 and we hope to have great participation from both our active and sustaining members. We will be seeking applications from non-profit organizations, who are in alignment with our mission to serve women and children in our community, and will select one of these organizations to partner with to be the recipient of the next two years’ funds raised.