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Give a little whistle
Give a little whistle
Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence distribute "Walk Safe" packs throughout community

by Nick Ardizzone - SGN Staff Writer

In March, a new accessory began to show up on Capitol Hill: the whistle. Shiny silver whistles were being handed out to the community by packs of what appeared to be kind-hearted nuns, along with instructions on how to sound a shrill alarm in a dangerous situation. Intrigued, the Seattle Gay News spoke to Sister Glow Euro N'Wei of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence about their latest push to increase safety awareness on the Hill.

"The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence are an all-volunteer group of 21st century nuns dedicated to the promulgation of universal joy and the expiation of stigmatic guilt," Sister Glo explained. "We work to raise money for HIV/AIDS charities, fight for Queer rights and visibility, and do safer sex outreach."

What spurred the change from safer sex awareness to passing out whistles? "Basically, the campaign sprung from the recent attention that has been given to bashings and/or hate crimes," Sister Glo said. "At one of our meetings a few months ago, one of our Sisters reminded us to pay attention to our surroundings and be careful when we're walking to our cars or home after being out. Another Sister responded by suggesting the possibility of an awareness campaign for the community about safety."

Sister Glo and Sister Pure Heart "took the idea and ran with it. We did a little research and compiled the safety tips, turned it over to Sister Eva to design the packet insert, ordered whistles, and thus the 'Walk Safe' packets were born."

Groups of Sisters spent a Saturday night canvassing the bars and streets of Capitol Hill, and the reaction was strongly supportive. "Many community members thanked us for doing the campaign and very much appreciated the reminder to be safe," said Sister Glo.

The Sisters have distributed over 800 whistles so far, but there are plans to expand the program due to the demand. "The packs have made it as far away as Centralia. Last weekend we were doing outreach at a bar in Olympia, and a woman from Centralia asked for a number of packs to take back," Sister Glo explained.

The Sisters have been funding the project themselves by dipping into their collected dues.

For now, the Sisters are keeping the packs with them and distributing when they're in the community on "Sisterly business." Questioned about the Sisters' turn to actt as the community's guardian angels, Sister Glo said simply, "We want people to indulge and have fun, but we also want them to get home safely."

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