Harbor House asks communities to turn purple for domestic violence awareness

Published: Sep. 29, 2019 at 9:44 PM CDT
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Orange and black decorations are a normal sight in October. One local organization wants to add purple to the mix, but for a different reason.

It might be hard to see in the daylight, but at night purple shines brightly from the displays at Harbor House in Appleton.

“The ultimate goal would be to see all of our communities lit up purple,” said Morgan Kirchenwitz, the marketing and event manager for Harbor House.

Harbor House is an organization dedicated to awareness and prevention of domestic violence.

Kirchenwitz says during October, which is domestic violence awareness month, they ask people to make their porch lights purple.

“The Purple Porch Project is an easy way for the community to share their support,” said Kirchenwitz. “It shows that you care about domestic violence, shows your support of survivors, and that you want top spread awareness of resources in the community.”

Even in its first year, people were on board with the campaign.

“Our campaign was a lot smaller last year, it was the first year that we launched it,” said Kirchenwitz. “But we had a lot of people reaching out about how it was such a cool idea.”

This year the Purple Porch Project is sponsored by Kimberly Clark, Guardian, and Ascension Calumet Hospital. That allowed Harbor House to purchase purple lights and to create yard signs that the group plans to give out to the public.

“The yard signs we’re really hoping will help people realize the purpose for your purple porch, give people a place to go to learn more about it,” said Kirchenwitz.

Though it might seem like a small gesture, Kirchenwitz says it can mean a great deal to survivors or people experiencing domestic violence.

“It shows that there are people that care, that there are people in the community, that they’re not going through this alone,” said Kirchenwitz.

Harbor House will give away lights and signs at events throughout October, the hope being that everyone will shine a light on the issue.

“It takes all of us,” said Kirchenwitz. “Our mission is to end domestic violence, so that would take every single one of us.”

Lights and signs will be handed out by Harbor House at the Appleton’s farmer market on Oct. 5 and Oct. 12, the Calumet County Candlelight Vigil in Chilton on Oct. 2, and at the group’s Ultraviolet fundraiser on Oct. 11. People can also buy a purple light from any retailer.

Harbor House has also created a hashtag "#PurplePorchProject2019" so people can show off their decorated porches on social media.

For more information, visit the Harbor House website.