For some, the colour purple is about royalty. For battered women and children, purple is a reminder of bruised faces and arms after a violent domestic altercation. Over time, the tint has morphed into a colour that shines a light in support of domestic violence survivors.
In Alberta, November is Family Violence Prevention Month. As a reminder of how much work still needs to be done, Stop Abuse in Families (SAiF) has once more ignited Paint the Town Purple campaign, a fundraising project that runs until the end of November.
“It was started last year. It came out of the pandemic. It was an opportunity to reach out to companies to say, ‘we would like you to support SAiF, and SAiF would like to support you as you come out of the pandemic’,” said Mark Dixon, interim executive director. “Businesses commit to a certain level of contributions, and they raise them in whatever way makes sense to them.”
In return, the partnering businesses receive a digital advertisement on the SAiF web page describing the business or how it has contributed to the campaign.
It’s a project that focuses on more than just raising dollars. It looks at having fun while building community. As an example, NFP (Foster Park) is planning a chili cook-off and a hockey ticket raffle.
Urban Massage & Wellness has a focus on overall well-being. Throughout November, for every 60-minute massage booked, a portion of proceeds is directed to SAiF. Revive Whole Body Health instead is donating $1 for every chiropractic, physiotherapy and acupuncture treatment.
Glasshouse Kitchen and Bar at the Enjoy Centre invites the community down for a cup of coffee since a portion of sales from every drip coffee will be donated. And Thirsty Rooster is hosting the Anytime Fitness Fundraiser. Tickets are $10 and come with a free appetizer.
“This event not only raises funds. It also raises the profile of what we do,” Dixon said.
In 2021, SAiF raised $37,814. This year, the organization hopes to match or possibly exceed last year’s numbers. All proceeds will be directed towards programs.
One program Dixon is particularly excited about is child play therapy. It is a counselling intervention program for children involved in family violence and abuse.
“It’s a way to engage youngsters in play so they can work through what they witnessed or experienced. It’s a pretty powerful tool.”
SAiF operates on a $500,000 budget with one full-time staff member, seven limited-hour psychologists and one administration support staffer. It offers full-spectrum assistance from young children to seniors. However, there is a wait list of individuals hoping to see clinicians.
“With more funding we can attract more clinicians. At the moment, we are lucky and have a placement student. We’re so glad to have that support. It’s quite a feat to keep things moving for clients who need us so much. Ideally, I’d like to have seven psychologists on full-time hours, but that’s all tied to the budget.”
Businesses interested in joining Paint the Town Purple or individuals who would like to make a donation are encouraged to contact Dixon at 780-460-2195 ext. 306 or by email at [email protected]