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One Black Dress Initiative

What would you do if you were struggling every day to just get by? What if you were a struggling child wearing the same outfit day in and day out, because new clothes just weren't in the budget? What if you couldn't afford that first suit or business dress to wear at your first chance at an interview? What if that interview could be the difference between making ends meet or having to make a tough choice?

Join United Way for our One Black Dress Initiative: a social media driven, poverty awareness and fundraising campaign. Wear one dress for five days straight - and harness the power of our community to make a difference.


What is the One Black Dress Initiative? 

The One Black Dress (or One Black Suit) initiative is a social media driven, poverty awareness and fundraising campaign, designed to help raise money and support for the people in community who struggle every day. 
Participants wear the same black dress (or suit) for five consecutive days and are encouraged to harness the power of their social media platforms to drive online donations that go back to programs supporting our ALICE population.
Each advocate wears along with their dress or suit, a daily sticker that reads “Ask Me About My Dress,” or "Ask me about suit" which invites dialogue among colleagues, friends, and strangers about this important initiative.
The initiative is not just about a week wearing a black dress or tie. It is about harnessing the power of our community to make a difference.

Register now to create your own personal campaign page!

Why is the campaign necessary?

  • ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrainted, Employeed) represent more than 40% of our local population, a population that struggles every day, having to make tough choices between things like buying a professional outfit or groceries. By stepping up to support ALICE, we can change the life of our neighbors.
  • The One Black Dress Initiative illustrates the effects poverty can have on a woman’s access to resources, confidence, and opportunities
  • This experience will serve to raise awareness among our members and the community about the following topics:
    1. Highlight the story of those in need who have few resources such as interview and work clothes, to enter the employment process and to remain at work;
    2. Understand how limited resources can affect daily life for ALICE; and
    3. To fundraise, support the mission of United Way to increase the organized capacity of people to care for one another.
  • It means experiencing firsthand the lack of choices people in poverty face
  • It’s not about accessorizing. It’s not about changing shoes. It’s about taking a walk in someone else’s shoes.
  • This experiential approach to raising awareness helps advocates speak from a personal, heartfelt position

    Set up your own One Black Dress Initiative Fundraising Page now! 

Who can participate?

      • Fundraiser is open to everyone (YES even men!)
      • Advocates may also wear some variation of a black ensemble (black tie or suit for men)

      How to fundraise?

      • Online charitable fundraising site through United Way's One Black Dress Initiative Campaign
        • Community members are invited to join create an online fundraising page that they can share to raise donations through social media or wiith other forms of communicaiton.

      How else can you give back?

      • Ongoing - Clothing donations to support ALICE – drop off locations at businesses. Want to be a dropoff site? Email us to get your box! 
      • Oct 27th - First Public Report @ United Way. Kickoff One Black Dress Initiative
      • Nov 4th – Watch the movie "Annie" at Alamo, 11:00am. Food and beverage proceeds and tickets purchases come back to United Way! Buy your tickets!
      • Nov 6th – Trivia Night at Green Turtle, 8:00-10:00pm.  Food and beverage proceeds come back to United Wa
      • Nov 13th - Brown Bag Lunch "Sit-in" on the Handley Library steps (12:30pm to 1:00pm)
      • Nov 13th-17th – Wear your One Black Dress or tie for this week.
      • Nov 17th  - Wrap up happy hour with awards for fundraising stars at 50/50 Taphouse (5:30pm) 

      Set up your own personal campaign page now and join the One Black Dress Initiative! 

      Help us get the word out! Share this information with your friends and colleagues!