By MacKenzie Brady
Student Life Editor
Last week, Washington College’s chapter of Alpha Chi Omega celebrated their annual Purple Out Week, raising money for domestic violence survivors through their partnership with Mid-Shore Council on Family Violence.
Each day, the sisters held various events at their table in Hodson, educating students about domestic violence through explorations of what love is, creating cards for victims, covering a sheet in students’ purple handprints for “these hands don’t hurt,” and handing out lollipops with facts about domestic abuse on them. The week culminated in their annual Casino Night on Saturday, Nov. 2.
Casino Night, which was held in the Hodson boat house, had games, raffles, and a silent auction for attendees to participate in. Games included roulette, a prize wheel, two tables of blackjack, and Texas hold’em. Attendees were given chips with which to play games and win tickets to put in for the raffle drawings. They were also able to buy additional tickets for the 50/50 raffle, where half of the money raised would go towards domestic violence advocacy, and the other half would be given to whomever won the raffle. There were seven baskets raffled off and five baskets to bid on in the silent auction.
“Alpha Chi Omega is unique in the way that we work with our local communities,” senior and President of Alpha Chi Alicia Vasquez said, referring to their ties to Mid-Shore.
According to their website, Mid-Shore’s mission is to, “create healthy opportunities to break the cycle of domestic violence through intervention and prevention by providing shelter, counseling, services, and advocacy for victims and abusers.”
At Casino Night, Alpha Chi had a table where attendees could write letters and words of encouragement to survivors of domestic abuse.
Bonnie Brady, from Mid-Shore, provided statistics about the wide-reaching effects of domestic violence, explaining that one in four women and one in seven men have been victims, with increased amounts of teen violence in recent years.
She explained Mid-Shore’s expansion into the issue of financial abuse, “[We have raised] $1.2 million for victims of financial abuse. Financial issues are one of the main reasons people stay,” she said.
“It’s giving [survivors] money to help pay off debt or money to have a temporary housing situation or to be able to afford food and basic living necessities,” Vasquez explained of how Mid-Shore helps survivors of financial abuse.
“Last month, we were selected as a center of excellence and tasked to teach other organizations how to do this,” Brady said.
“People that go to Casino Night not only have a great time playing games and winning awesome raffle prizes, but they also get to become educated on our philanthropy and how them being a part of this event is helping many survivors in our community,” Vasquez said.