Pinwheels offer hope, help raise awareness

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The spinning blue and silver pinwheels popping up around Pike County provide happy little interludes as people stumble upon the displays. As wind blows and the wheels spin, we remember the simple joys of childhood.

But those pinwheels mask a much darker story for children everywhere.

The pinwheels are part of an awareness and fund-raising project conducted during April by the Pike Regional Child Advocacy Center, as part of the National Child Abuse Prevention Month program conducted by the center.

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The pinwheels, available from $1 each from the Pike Regional CAC, are raising funds for the CAC, an intervention agency that supports children caught in abusive circumstances. It’s painful work, but unfortunately necessary.

According to the U.S. Administration for Children & Families, nearly 700,000 children are abused in the United States annually.  Three-quarters of those children are neglected; 17.2 percent suffer physical abuse; and more than 8 percent suffer physical abuse.

Moreover, child protection services investigate more than 3.4 million children each year, with more than 2.3 million receiving prevention services.

Those numbers are staggering, and they hide a dark and disturbing reality about the fate of our children in America.

But there is a shining light of hope. Agencies like the Pike Regional CAC and countless volunteers are working to give voice and protection to the children who suffer abuse. Efforts to raise awareness of the issue – so perhaps more adults can recognize warning signs and stifled cries for help – like this month’s national campaign help shed light on the prevalence of child abuse and its insidious reach in our society.

And tokens as simple as a child’s pinwheel, purchased for a $1, serve as a simple reminder that hope prevails; innocence is precious; and we can do something to help.

So take a few moments this month to reach out to the folks at the Pike Regional Child Advocacy Center at 118 W. Orange St. and join the effort to raise awareness and spread hope.