From January 22-28, 2023, the Junior League of Clearwater-Dunedin will kick off the 7th annual Little Black Dress Initiative (LBDI). LBDI is a poverty awareness and fundraising campaign that harnesses social media’s power to raise awareness around food insecurity and poverty in our community.
Classic Dress Raises Awareness
LBDI participants will rock the little black dress’s iconic look — the same black dress — for 5 consecutive days to illustrate the restrictions poverty places on choices, confidence, opportunities, and access to resources.
Let’s Talk About Hunger
The Little Black Dress Initiative is a unique way to get out there, strike a conversation, and talk to family, friends, and community members about the real issues of hunger and food insecurity in Pinellas County.
January is Poverty Awareness Month
Coinciding with Poverty Awareness Month, these 5 days provide JLCD members with the opportunity to share local statistics about poverty and hunger on social media (#JLCDWearsLBD) and in person.
Why Should You Support LBDI?
The donations received from LBDI support JLCD community projects and initiatives to battle food insecurity in North Pinellas County. These projects include literacy events, food pantry donations, and direct support to partner programs alleviating poverty in Pinellas.
Want to Donate or Sponsor LBDI?
LBDI Makes A Big Impact
- $20,000+ Raised in 2022
- Total of $120,000+ raised from 2017-2022
- LBDI Donations went to:
- 60 Beds to children in need in North Pinellas in partnership with Sleep in Heavenly Peace. Sleep in Heavenly Peace – their motto reads “No Kid Sleeps on the Floor in our Town”. We can only imagine the implications that come along with kids that have unconventional sleeping arrangements. SHP is committed to building and delivering complete beds to include a frame, mattress, pillow, and bedding to children who qualify. As JLCD works towards our goal to improve health and wellness as it pertains to poverty in our community, this was a sponsorship we couldn’t ignore. Sleep in Heavenly Peace offers different levels of involvement and JLCD has committed to a sponsored build day.
- 10-holiday dinners for families in need through partnership with Feeding the Fosters.
- Support of Calvin’s Closet providing hygiene and good supplies to children of North Pinellas through partnership with Calvin A Hunsinger since 2021. Calvin’s Closet – a JLCD sponsored and funded Calvin Hunsinger Center School modern pantry concept for students which was built to supplement essentials such as food, clothing, shoes, and hygiene products for those in need. This pilot project is located in a Title I school, which serves students from all over North Pinellas County, ranging in age from K-12 grades.
- Hygiene and food bags in partnership with Cops N Kids. Cops N Kids – Hygiene bags this after school program serves our North Pinellas County students who qualify for free or reduced lunch. It was identified that there was a lack of support when it came to hygiene. JLCD decided to fill this gap and assembled and distributed hygiene bags through this partnership. Additionally, we have continued to create and provide a literacy event for these students. The group gets to engage with a league volunteer while enjoying a book, create a related craft, and then each student receives a copy of the book to bring home and share with their families. We continue to encourage a love for reading while building their libraries, both at home and in the program, each year by providing books for them to share and enjoy.
- Backpacks and school supplies to student of Sandy Lane Elementary
- Pinellas Education Foundation Scholarships – PEF serves as a central line for students and teachers to access scholarships and grants based on academic achievement, talent, and financial need. JLCD has and is currently offering scholarships to graduating seniors who qualify. Cumulatively, JLCD has contributed $100,000 to PEF over the last 25 years.
- 360 Eats – What sets 360 Eats apart is their innovative approach to full circle sustainability which includes rescuing surplus food, cooking and serving healthy chef-curated meals, composting scraps, and providing compost to local farms all while striving to truly reach those underserved and located in food desserts. As access, or lack thereof, has been the primary feedback our organization has received when discussing area outreach programs and food banks, it signifies the necessity and importance the 360 Eats concept has in our community. JLCD was inspired to assist this budding non-profit in their quest to bridge the gap in accessibility. Funds were used to make their kitchen more efficient to prepare more meals and safely transport food to serve more in our community.
The article was written by JLCD Member, Amy Tramer