April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month

Ava Arthurs planting pinwheels at Parsippany-Troy Hills Municipal Building

PARSIPPANY — The Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany is proud to support Prevent Child Abuse NJ in their Pinwheels for Prevention® campaign.

This month the Kiwanis Club kicked off Child Abuse Prevention Month setting up pinwheel gardens and displays, set up at the Parsippany Town Hall, Governor Livingston Park, Empire Diner, Veterans Park, Gazebo at Lake Hiawatha and Cerbo Lumber.

Many pinwheel gardens are set up to bring attention to the importance of ensuring great childhoods for all children because our children are our future. Gourmet Cafe purchased the pinwheels which will be used in the pinwheel gardens and displays. Parsippany and Cedar Knolls IHOP will also have pinwheels throughout the restaurant supporting Prevent Child Abuse. They will also collect donations throughout the month of April for Child Abuse Prevention Month.

All throughout April you will see pinwheels on display around the Parsippany and Lake Hiawatha areas as the symbol of this very thought…that all children deserve a great childhood because they are our future.

And while the pinwheel can do many things — bring smiles, lift spirits, call for healthy starts for all children — the one thing it cannot do is move on its own.  Be the force that makes it move, bringing about real change for children in the United States.  Protecting our children is everyone’s job…it’s your turn to make a difference!

Prevent Child Abuse America introduced the pinwheel as the new national symbol for child abuse prevention through Pinwheels for Prevention®. What their research showed, and what their experiences since then have borne out, is that people respond to the pinwheel. By its very nature, the pinwheel connotes whimsy and childlike notions. In essence, it has come to serve as the physical embodiment, or reminder, of the great childhoods we want for all children.

Since 1983, April has been a time to acknowledge the importance of families and communities working together to prevent child abuse.  As we look upon the faces of the many children in our communities and think about all of the children around the world that suffer at the hands of others, let’s remember that April may be Child Abuse Prevention Month, but unfortunately abuse happens every day.  That is why every year, during the month of April, communities across the country come together to focus on this startling issue and on the need for widespread prevention and public awareness campaigns to reduce the number of children who, sadly, are victims of abuse.  Close to 700,000 children were victims of child abuse; and almost 1,700 children died as a result of abuse or neglect.

During a recent Kiwanis meeting, Julie Sorano Co-Director of the Kiwanis “Young Children Priority One” program explained, “As an organization that focuses on children, there is one goal that we are looking to achieve…to raise awareness of the many ways people can get involved in the fight against child abuse:  First, we can get educated, so you can learn to recognize the signs of child abuse, so you can be that one person with courage to step up for these children and report abuse when you suspect it.  Secondly, you can volunteer or support your child advocacy centers (Prevent Child Abuse-NJ ) by calling to determine how you can support them, because every children’s advocacy center can benefit from your support for their programs and services they provide to child victims of abuse and neglect.  And lastly, but most importantly we must help break the silence surrounding child abuse by raising awareness and spreading the word.  These children deserve a voice, because this problem has been overlooked for far too long and you can open the doors on this crime of secrecy, because we can all make a difference for these children.”

To learn more about what you can do to help prevent child abuse, contact Pamela Stalcup, Director of Development & Communications for Prevent Child Abuse-NJ at (732) 246-8060 or click here.

Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world one child and one community at a time.  It is not religious based or partisan in any way. The Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany meets every Thursday at 7:15 a.m. at the Empire Diner, 1315 Route 46.  New members are always welcome. (Click here for more information on Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany).