A local community is spreading awareness of a cause through tree lighting.
A director of Safehouse Crisis Center Incorporated decided to bring a nationally recognized event to downtown Pittsburg in support of a well-known cause.
“The Purple Light Nights Campaign is a campaign that’s been going on for quite a while in other places. It started in Washington state in the early 2000’s and has kind of spread to different states and communities and I found out about it this year and had the idea to bring it here for Domestic Violence Awareness Month this month,” says Ali Smith, Safehouse Prevention Education Specialist.
When the campaign first started in Washington, communities put purple light bulbs in their front porch, since the color purple is internationally recognized as the symbol for domestic violence. Smith worked with her team to do something unique for the campaign in Pittsburg.
“I brought the idea to my director and she thought immediately of the trees lining downtown Pittsburg on Broadway Street as a spot to start this year for the campaign,” says Ali Smith.
With the permission of the Pittsburg Parks and Recreation Department, as well as the downtown advisory board, Smith then had to appeal to sponsors within the community.
“I just reached out to several businesses. I honestly didn’t even do that much work to reach out to businesses. Everyone was really great and being on board. There were several individuals and families too that wanted to sponsor for a lot of personal reasons because this impacts a lot of people,” says Smith.
Not only were members of the crisis center excited to raise awareness of this cause, but many business owners were too.
“We are a very small business, so we are a huge part of Pittsburg, Pittsburg is a part of us. They keep us going, so I feel like as a small business owner it’s my responsibility to give that back to the community in lots of ways, but this event especially was very important,” says Lori Horton, owner of Celebrations By Lori.
By the end of this month, Safe House Crisis Center wants the public to take away that this month long event is not just about raising awareness.
“We really wanted something visual that people could see and I think that many people when they look at this they think ‘yeah this is an awareness campaign.’ It is, it’s also a statement that the community is making: Domestic violence has no place in our community,” says Ali Smith.