Thank you

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As New Years Eve approaches, 31 days of wearing a dress each day for Dressember is coming to an end. I want to say a huge thank you to those who have supported me this month, whether through your encouragement, your donations or your interest in what I am doing, it has all been so appreciated.

As you will know by now after all my social media posts, stopping slavery is something I am very passionate about. I must say it has been a huge challenge for me to post a photo of myself wearing a dress every day this month! But I believe that every person deserves to be free so it has been a small price for me to pay.

Through the Dressember initiative collectively so far (there is still time to contribute, see the link here) we have raised over 1.1 million USD!!! This money is going to support the work that A21 and IJM do to rescue, and then restore lives of many who are trapped in slavery. This money is nearly enough to fund 175 rescue missions! When each mission can rescue between 1-500 people this means between 175 and 87,500 precious lives will experience the freedom they deserve as a result of many people’s generosity.

I have found it a privilege to participate in Dressember, to be part of something that is bigger than myself, bigger than just wearing a dress. Something that brings hope, something that gives freedom, dignity and a brighter future to so many.

I’m not going to lie, wearing a dress everyday has not always been convenient or easy but the cost of my momentary discomfort has been well outweighed by the outcome. It has reminded me to be so thankful for the freedoms I take for granted. I have seen that no matter how big an issue may seem, together every little bit does make a difference.

Wearing a dress each day has reminded me of the beauty I hold within, of the strength I carry to make a stand for justice and the voice I have been given to speak up for those who may not be in a position to speak for themselves.

Today I want to say thank you to YOU! Thank you for being a part of this journey.

Sophie xxx

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Dressember

One more sleep till Dressember! Over the last few weeks I have had a few people asking me the question “What is Dressember?” I am so glad you asked!

I think it is easiest to sum up what Dressember is by this (hopefully) simple equation…

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Me + a dress = me wearing a dress (which raises awareness for Dressember) which = (equals) donations made by lovely people such as yourself, which then = FREEDOM to many people who are trapped in modern day slavery.

Simply put I am choosing alongside some friends and hundreds of others around the world to wear only dresses for the month of December to raise awareness about modern day slavery. This campaign is so much bigger than just wearing dresses for a month, it is my hope that by wearing a dress (something I certainly don’t wear everyday) I will raise awareness of the work that organisations like A21 and International Justice Mission are doing to free people who are in slavery. Our team has set a goal of raising $5000 collectively. Through the donations of generous people like yourself we can offer much needed finances to these organisations that stand against injustice and strive to enable all humans to experience the basic right of freedom and restoration.

If you would like to read more about what modern day slavery looks like or find out more about why I am participating then please follow this link back to my previous blog post called A Little Dress.

If you would like to donate to our team here is the link for you to do that. Every little bit counts 🙂 It is very exciting to know that over the last 3 years people participating in Dressember have raised over 1.5 million to end human trafficking. This year they hope to raise $1,500,000 it is not even December yet and $90,059 has already been raised. I look forward to giving you an update on this rapidly growing total over the next few weeks.

Thank you for joining us in supporting this worthwhile and highly important cause.

Sophie xxx

 

 

 

Broken

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“Oh dear…broken! Oh no baby bear” 

Mila’s favourite story to read at the moment is The Three Bears, every time when we get to the page where baby bear discovers his chair has been broken she exclaims “oh dear…broken! Oh no baby bear”.

 

I am feeling very thankful that we have not had to face too many broken things during the earthquakes and aftershocks over the last few days. The images and stories emerging of the damage and destruction caused up and down our country is truly heartbreaking.

I am reminded in times like this where there can be so much uncertainty and fear, that there are always things to be thankful for. Natural disasters like this certainly encourage us to draw closer to the ones we love. Life is so precious and should never be taken for granted.

‘Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning.’ Psalm 30:5

My prayer is that where so many people are experiencing worry, uncertainly, brokenness and fear, it will be replaced with hope and peace, that unexplainable peace that only comes from God. I hope you know that no mater what night you are facing at the moment, no mater how dark it may seem, there will always be hope, you can be certain there will always a dawn. Joy will come in the morning.

 

 

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Hi friends!

You may have noticed things have been a bit quiet on the blog over the last month. This has been due to a number of factors but mainly because I have been using every spare moment I have had to complete a online course about slavery through The University of Nottingham. For those of you interested here is brief overview of what the course covered.

I highly recommend participating in this course which is rich in information about slavery both past and present. It really opened my eyes and broke my heart to see the magnitude of this problem but also highlighted the many ways in which we can all make choices to bring about the freedom and rehabilitation of those that are freed.

Stay tuned for many exciting things coming up over the next month that will inform about and support organisations that are doing amazing work to free those in bondage. If you missed my last post about Dressember you can read it here. You can also follow me on instagram petalpocket_nz or on Facebook for additional posts and links to information regarding bringing about freedom for those enslaved.

Much love

Sophie xxx

 

 

A little dress

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Hi friends,

In this blog post I want to talk about a topic I feel really passionate about…modern day slavery.

Woah! Now I imagine you may be thinking, “far out, that is a bit heavy for an opening sentence”! However this is something that I feel really moved and challenged by and I want to share a bit about the journey of discovery I have been on and how even small changes can make a huge impact on the lives of others.

Let me start by explaining what human trafficking is…

“Human trafficking is the illegal trade of human beings, mainly for the purposes of forced labor and sex trafficking. As the world’s fastest growing criminal industry, it affects every nation across the globe. Every 30 seconds, someone becomes a victim of modern-day slavery. There are more slaves in the world today than at any other point in human history, with an estimated 27 million in bondage across the globe. Men, women, and children are being exploited for manual and sexual labor against their will” A21 Ministries

What I find absolutely heartbreaking is that only 1-2 % of victims are ever rescued. The average age of a trafficking victim is only 12 years old!

When I read facts like, ‘every 30 seconds, someone becomes a victim of modern day slavery’, or, ‘there are more slaves in the world right now than any other point in history’, I am guilty of thinking, “wow that is really terrible!” and then a few minutes later putting it out of my mind and continuing with my day.

It can be very easy to live in a little bubble of thinking that these things happens around the world but for me it really hit home when I read about it happening in  New Zealand too. It really hit home when I started to make it personal by thinking about what if this was my sister, my friends, my mum or even my daughter caught in slavery. It really hit home when I realised that there are things I can do and choices I can make every day that will make a difference.

It is very easy to look at this problem and feel overwhelmed by the scale of it. With 27 million people caught in slavery what little I can do surely won’t make a difference. But this isn’t true. Even small changes will make a difference.

I realise at the moment I can’t make millions of dollars to give away but I can give a little. I realise I won’t be able to stop forced labour but I can make choices about where I buy clothes from and finding out if they are ethically made. I realise that not every person in slavery is going to be rescued right now but I can do all I can to enable these incredible organisations to rescue even just one person and that one person’s life is certainly worth it.

This year I am participating in Dressember, a fun initiate where participants raise money for International Justice Mission (IJM) and A21 by wearing a dress or skirt everyday for the month of December. I am excited to be joining a team of friends who are going to work together to raise money by choosing to wear dresses for the month.

I do like wearing dresses but I’m not going to lie, wearing one everyday for a whole month is going to be a challenge! I love my jeans and shorts thats for sure! But the cause is so worth it. To start with I was thinking up all sorts of excuses as to why not to join in, such as, I really don’t own enough dresses or its not very practical to wear a dress when you work in a preschool. But I soon realised that being able to raise awareness and money for these organisations that are making such a difference is worth any inconvenience it may cause me.

I’ve heard of people who are participating in Dressember wearing the same dress everyday all month which I must say is pretty incredible! I won’t be doing that this year but I will be hunting out my limited supply of dresses and possible hitting up an op shop or two before December rolls around. To see images of all the crazy things people do in their dresses you can follow ‘Dressember’ on Instagram or check out the hashtag #youcandoanythinginadress or #dressember.

If you are interested in participating in Dressember you can do this too either as an individual or by creating a team like us by going here.

I love this quote by Barrack Obama which says, “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time”. What we choose to do now will either positively or negatively impact the world we live in. I definitely want to be part of bringing some hope and positive change into the lives of others.

I hope that by reading this post you feel inspired or challenged to learn more about how we can stop human trafficking. It is my hope that you might look at how you personally can help. You may decide to join me in wearing a dress this December or even just share this article to raise more awareness of this topic. Whatever you actually do, I hope you will consider joining me in becoming the change that someone so desperately needs today.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post.

Sophie xxx

 

 

 

 

40 of 52 Portraits

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Today I’ll hold my babies hand and walk beneath the sky; we’ll take our time and wander, and watch the robin fly.

We’ll stop along the way to smell a rose thats sweet, and leave some footprints in the dust made by tiny feet.

But those tiny feet are growing and those hands are growing too; just yesterday it seems you were so small and new.

The memories tucked deep in my heart are the only things that last. For those tiny hands and feet will grow up much too fast.

Poem written by Patsy Gaut

 

37, 38, and 39 of 52 Portraits!

Eek where has the last month gone! I am definitely playing catch up this month by posting the last 3 weeks of Mila’s weekly portraits. How did we get to week 39 out of 52 already!!

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All grins playing peek-a-boo with Mummy on the steps…

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Who knew discovering your own tummy and belly button could be so hilarious! This photo reminds me of the fun we had together, her giggles and excited chatter saying “Mimi’s Puku!” and “Bellybutton!”

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“I love smoothie” ,”more smoothie please” I adore the sweet little sentences that Mila is putting together at the moment! Berry smoothies are definitely one of her favourite things!