Wednesday, March 27, 2013

There’s no place like home …

I saw this photo on my Facebook news feed a few days ago.
It’s a picture of Rob Carivou, a friend and former colleague of mine, looking a little like Dorothy just before she closed her eyes and clicked her heels with the words “there’s no place like home.”

Rob and members of the Leadership Green Bay class of 2013 were tasked with developing a community service project; a project they hope will directly improve the lives of Green Bay residents now and for years to come.

The project? Green Bay’s first Walk a Mile in Her Shoes® event set for April 20.

“Homelessness, poverty, abuse, neglect … there are so many issues plaguing our community,” he said.  “Our group was drawn to Golden House, which is a member of the Brown County Community Coordinated Response (CCR) Team.”

Golden House has a long history of providing a home, support and healing for victims of domestic violence and, as part of the CCR, the agency collaborates with others to raise awareness for domestic violence and sexual assault.

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, a licensed walk happening in communities across the country, does just that—raise awareness. And it gets the community talking about subjects that can be difficult to talk about: gender relations and sexual violence.

The walk will begin at the Green Bay CityDeck at 10 a.m., April 20, and asks men to walk one mile in women’s high-heels.

“The idea resonated very strongly for me personally because my wife and I have a 22-month old son and we're expecting a daughter any day now—I don’t want either of my children to ever become a victim of such senseless acts of violence,” Carivou said. (Since our conversation, Rob, his wife and son welcomed their healthy, happy daughter to the world.) 

A bright red “Natalie” pump with a “super high heel” will be Carivou’s shoe.  Men wanting to join the walk needn’t fret if they can't find heels that fit—150 pairs will be available for loan, all sized for a man’s foot.  (After the walk the shoes will be cleaned and stored for use in future years.)

Women and families are also able to join the walk (women are encouraged to wear their comfortable shoes) and trophies will be awarded for the largest team, most team spirit and the participant collecting the most pledges.  For more information about Walk a Mile in Her Shoes – Green Bay, visit the walk’s website or “like” this page on Facebook.  If you aren't able to participate, you can help spread the word about the walk by sharing this post with your Facebook friends and family.

For most of us, there’s no place like home.  We owe it to our community to make sure homes are safe and comfortable places for everyone.  Thanks to Rob and Leadership Green Bay for bringing Walk a Mile in Her Shoes to Green Bay.