The Purple Flower holds T-shirt fundraiser until Sept. 16

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Purple Flower, Carroll County’s only domestic violence resource center, has launched a fundraiser to help its mission in more ways than one.

The organization will be selling T-shirts that say “I am a voice against violence” until Sept. 16. The T-shirts can be purchased by visiting www.ThePurpleFlower.org.

Barb Mourglia, who works with the Purple Flower, said the fundraiser will help the organization raise money and awareness. The T-shirts target all violence, Mourglia said.

“We thought we should just target violence as a whole, especially since the world seems to be in turmoil all the time,” Mourglia said. “Violence begets violence. It’s good to take a stand against violence, not only in the home but around the world. We thought it would be a good conversation starter.”

The T-shirts are an awareness tool, Mourglia said, because they might encourage people to talk about the dangers of violence more.

“Something I love is that the shirts are available in kids’ sizes,” Mourglia said. “It’s sort of strengthening around the message of nonviolence that we can all come at in the community and say collectively we are a voice against violence.”

Violence affects children more than many people think, Mourglia said.

“Violence in the home or intimate partner violence definitely affects children in big, big ways,” she said. “It determines how they’re going to be as an adult. Research has shown the effects on children are the same as if they were the target of the violence, just by seeing it. It’s an important message and an important stand to take.”

The Purple Flower has had quite a few changes over the past year, Mourglia said. The organization has a paid staff member who has created a seven-step program to help those from abusive homes, Mourglia said.

“It’s really full of meat and information and tools to empower women and help them gain independence and break that cycle of violence once and for all,” Mourglia said.

The office has an emotional support animal, Mourglia added, and a support group should start up again soon.

“We hope once a month to include a member from the community who speaks for just a few minutes about some topics that would be empowering,” Mourglia said. “So maybe finances or maybe talk about what the library has to offer or talk about any number of things that would empower someone to have independence. Knowledge is power.”

The clientele has tripled this year, she said.

“We are growing, growing, growing really fast,” she said. “On that note, we need help.”

The organization always accepts financial support, Mourglia said, but she’s open to any help anybody has to offer. Any skill set, she said, could make The Purple Flower better.

“We need help with people who have skills to just jump in and help. A lot of the things would be one-time projects or maybe once a month,” Mourglia said. “We would love people to bring their skill sets and see how we can work that into making a difference in the community and helping people live a life free of violence.”

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Mourglia said, so she’s encouraging everyone to wear purple on Oct. 1. Domestic violence has no boundaries, she said, and it’s important that everyone know that.

“It reaches across every kind of line there is. It touches children. It touches women. It touches men. It tears apart families,” Mourglia said.

Research is now showing that the majority of people who commit mass shootings have a prior pattern of domestic violence, she said.

“We need, as a community, to stand up against that and come together. We are open to accepting whatever kind of ideas and help from the community,” Mourglia said. “We would love for people to stand with us. We think people would stand with us. We have a lot of support, and we appreciate that.”

She continued, “We really hope to be able to keep taking these big steps and keep growing, and we need support to do that.”

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