HomeSafe is working again to get the word out about the dangers of domestic violence as the organization reminds the public that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto signed a proclamation to that effect.
While the message may be grim, this year HomeSafe has partnered for the second year with Lebanon Housing Authority to sponsor a fall festival for the children in Upton Heights Public Housing. The children will receive candy and free pumpkins for Halloween and the adults will be reminded that help is available for victims of domestic violence. The event is planned for Friday from 1-3 p.m.
Rebekah Cothran, executive director of Wilson County's HomeSafe program, is surprised at how much the event has taken off after just one year.
"I can't believe it's gotten so much bigger," she said. "The LHA contacted me couple months ago, and I was very excited to do it again. They've created this much bigger event, and I can't believe how people are willing to support it."
She said the community is really getting behind the effort.
"Several local businesses have gotten involved to provide food, an inflatable, face painting and more. Lannom Farms is donating pumpkins to distribute to the children, and we are asking for candy donations for the 200 small treat bags we need to put together for the event. If you can help us by donating candy, we would greatly appreciate your support."
The event will again be held in the parking lot in front of the LHS office in Upton Heights.
"The UT Extension Office is going to come over and cook some hotdogs and give out candied apples," Cothran said.
While the festival is designed to be fun for the kids, adults in attendance will also be offered materials to make them aware that if they, or someone they know, is living in a violent situation, there are local agencies like HomeSafe where they can find safety and help for themselves and their children.
"HomeSafe's goal for this event is to spread awareness about domestic violence and the services we offer for those people living in violent homes," Cothran said. "We're setting up a booth with all of our information."
If you would like to donate candy for the Fall Festival celebration, call Cothran 615-444-8955.
Staff writer Mary Hinds may be reached at 444-3952, ext. 45 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.