According to Rosalyn Bourgeois, DCCW Let’s Lick Family Violence Committee member, the campaign’s main purpose is to raise awareness of family violence in the community and help those suffering because of it through kindness and donations.
“The ‘Let’s Lick Family Violence’ campaign was started after members of the Diocesan Council of Catholic Women saw the need at the shelters and wanted to come up with a campaign similar to the Tootsie Rolls by the Knights of Columbus,” said Bourgeois, a member of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Pulaski. “The council decided to go with suckers and call the campaign ‘Let’s Lick Family Violence.'”
The anti-violence campaign kicked off in 2001. Since then it has raised more than $100,000 for shelters in the Green Bay Diocese and beyond. Last year alone, more than $14,000 was raised from 75 parishes. And while the committee would be thrilled to exceed that amount this year, it is grateful for any donations they receive.
“We take whatever we can, every little bit counts,” Bourgeois said.
Bourgeois, along with fellow committee members Jackie Walker, of St. John the Baptist Parish in Howard, and Sue Ann Winter, of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Pulaski, oversees, calculates and distributes the donations each year.
Diocesan parishes are given information materials on the campaign and are able to choose the date that works best for them to collect donations.
“When the campaign first started it was held diocese-wide on the first weekend of October because it is Domestic Violence Awareness Month,” Bourgeois said. However, she said, they ran into problems with other parish events happening during the fall and decided to allow parishes to choose the dates that worked best for them.
To help get the word out, a blurb runs in parish newsletters one to two weeks prior to the collection, a poster is hung in the church and an announcement is made during Mass about the collection.
After collections are taken, donations are sent to the parish’s vicariate, transferred to the Let’s Lick Family Violence Committee and finally forwarded directly to the shelter of the local parish’s choice, Bourgeois said. A portion of total donations is saved to pay for suckers for the campaign the following year.
For more information about this year’s “Let’s Lick Family Violence” campaign, contact Rosalyn Bourgeois at (920)755-2645.