Kent State sophomore Anna Zajac knows that it is impossible to help everyone in need. But she also knows that every little bit helps.
Zajac created the Luke 12:33 Project, an online blog, where she is selling her clothing and donating 100 percent of the profits to charity. As a photo illustration major, the project combines her love of photography, her passion for design and her desire to help those in need.
“It was really just on my heart,” Zajac said. “We live in a country where we have so much. I think a lot of times, including myself, people are just really blinded to what’s going on.”
The Bible verse Luke 12:33 (in the new international version) states, “Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in Heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.”
Zajac said that verse and her faith in God inspired her to create the website, which she launched on March 11. Within two weeks, she sold five dresses and raised $225 to donate. Part of that money went to a dishwasher in Kent who is in desperate financial need. Zajac said the woman was unable to afford car repairs, Internet connection or a telephone. Zajac raised $175 to donate to her. Currently, the money she generates is given to The Daughter Project, a Northwest Ohio organization that provides help to victims of sex trafficking.
“It’s raising awareness,” Zajac said. “People are inspired to give. That’s a purpose of the project. My hope and my prayer is that people would be inspired to start giving and loving on others. It’s been inspirational to me, just seeing how it’s at work.”
Zajac has been promoting the project heavily on Facebook. That’s how Olivia Juneau, a student at the University of Tennessee and friend of Zajac, found out about the site. She purchased a casual, red button-down dress for $20.
“I’m very impressed that she’s doing this,” Juneau said. “It’s great. It’s so important to help people who need it.”
Suzanne Neforos , sophomore managerial marketing major at Kent State, also found out about the site through Facebook. After picking out what dress she wanted, Neforos sent Zajac a message requesting to purchase it. The two met up on campus, where Zajac gave her the dress and explained more about the cause. After learning more about The Daughter Project, Neforos paid $20 for the dress, instead of the $10 that Zajac was asking for it.
“(Zajac) is so knowledgeable about the cause,” Neforos said. “I learned so much about the whole thing. The whole purpose of it for me wasn’t to get the dress but to help her out with this.”
Although Zajac has an abundance of dresses to sell, she said she knows eventually she’ll run out, so she hopes that others will be inspired to donate their clothing sell on her site. Those interested in donating can find contact information on the blog, luke1233project.tumblr.com.
Zajac said it is important to her that the clothes be fairly new. She said the dresses must be stylish, but also modest. She said any provocative clothing would send the wrong message.
“Girls who are in commercial prostitution and sex slavery, those are the kinds of dresses they are forced to wear,” she said. “I don’t want to promote that.”
Even though she is only selling dresses right now, Zajac said she would eventually like to sell other clothing items. Eventually, she would like to offer men’s clothing, too.
For Neforos, the dress will be a reminder of her good deed.
“I’m proud of it,” she said. “When I wear the dress, I’ll know the money went somewhere important, not just Forever 21.”
Contact Alison Ritchie at [email protected]