“Purple Picnic” at the Park supports Domestic Violence Awareness month
The board of the Oneida Crisis Center sponsored last week’s “Purple Picnic,” which is held in conjunction with Domestic Violence Awareness month. Following the protocols put in place during COVID, the event this year again was held as a drive-through lunch pick up for community members from noon - 1 p.m. at the City Park on Thursday afternoon. Visitors were given a package containing sloppy joes, chips, Rice Krispie treats, information about domestic violence prevention and awareness, popsicles, and various toys for kids.
200 lunches were prepared for the event, and most of them had been distributed by 12:30 p.m., as the line of cars into the north side parking lot stretched at times to the street. Families, individuals, and even some walk-ups availed themselves of the lunch, and many stopped to thank the Crisis Center for their service and calling attention to the issue, which affects many families in Idaho. A number of people used the opportunity to make donations directly to the Center. “Of course, we always take donations,” Holly Llewelyn, director of the Center, said. She further explained that the lunch was “an annual event to bring awareness to domestic abuse, but also to call attention to our compassionate community. It’s always wonderful to see turnouts like this.”
The board of the Crisis Center includes Sue Evans, Melissa Shepherd, Nancy Asay, Stpehanie Crowther, Gabe Jimenez, Tishara Ward, Kristi Christophersen, Blair Higley, Nikole Wells, most of whom were on hand to help with the event. “The board really stepped up for this,” Llewelyn said. “They are amazing.” Volunteer Wendy Warren was also on site, and expressed gratitude for the Center for the work that they do. “It’s a great organization,” she said. “We’re lucky to have them here.”
Domestic Violence is an issue that affects every city and county in the country, with most experts believing that incidents are routinely underreported for a variety of reasons. Many times, victims of abuse do not feel safe reporting incidents, especially in small communities where there can be a perception of a lack of belief in those making claims, or a failure on the part of officials to act in some cases. The Crisis Center serves as a neutral place for reporting incidents, where the focus is on securing the safety of potentially endangered individuals. The Crisis Center is funded by a large variety of sponsors and donors, including the Idaho Council on Domestic Violence and Victim Assistance, the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence, United Way of Southeastern Idaho, United Way of Northern Utah, Idaho Housing – Emergency Solutions Grant, Ifft Foundation – Idaho Community Foundation Idaho, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, West Liberty, Autoliv, Nucor Steel, ATC Communications, Idaho Food Bank, and in-Kind Donations from Good 360, Bed, Bath & Beyond, WalMart, and William -Sonoma.