The VOICE Traveling Tree honors victims of violent crimes in the Acadiana area. On the tree, each ornament that decorates the tree helps families celebrate the memory of their loved ones during the holidays.
Voices of Innocent Citizens Empowered, or VOICE, is a support group for families affected by violent crimes. Catalene Theriot, one of the group founders says the holidays are especially difficult for grieving families, “You do have that missing link in your family, you do have that empty chair, unfortunately. With the tree, we can put our loved ones pictures and they are not forgotten.”
Sandra Guidry, a member of VOICE fondly remembers her daughter Abigail. She was the victim of a homicide. Guidry says the VOICE traveling tree is a reminder that she has the support of other families affected by violent crimes, “There’s nothing that can explain the feeling of being able to walk into that room and know that these people knew how I felt. Because you don’t just lose a loved one, it’s not a normal loss, it’s a traumatic loss.”
Each Christmas the VOICE Traveling Tree will be displayed at a different police station in Acadiana. This year it’s being housed at the Youngsville Police Department.
Of you’d like to contact VOICE, visit their Facebook page, VOICE Support Group. They meet on the third Wednesday of the month.