SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and a local nonprofit is taking steps to make sure people know help is available in our community.
Each pinwheel placed around Washington County represents a kid who used the Children’s Safety Center’s services to help them heal from abuse.
One large patch of pinwheels can be found on the corner of Emma Avenue and Thompson Street in Downtown Springdale. Springdale Mayor Doug Sprouse lead community members in “planting” the pinwheels, in hopes they’ll be spotted by drivers passing by.
“They’re catchy and they get people’s attention,” said Sprouse. “People stop here and they look over at the sign.”
Accompanying the pinwheels is a sign listing ways to connect with the Children’s Safety Center, which offers advocacy, forensic interviews, medical help and therapy for abused kids.
Throughout April though, the Board President, Chris Thornton, is focused on prevention. He said it’s likely we all know someone who has been abused.
“A lot of times we get in our own world, and we think of problems like this not touching us, maybe not even being prevalent in our community, but I promise you they are,” said Sprouse.
In the last year, Thornton said the number of kids who sought help from the center rose by a third, bringing the number of kids to around 860.
“It’s not something that’s stopping,” said Thornton. “We just continue to see more and more kids and so lately, we need more and more services.”
To meet the growing demand, the Children’s Safety Center is planning to move to a new location by August 1. Thornton said all the services are free to kids and their families, so with a larger space, the need for community support will grow as well.
The Children’s Safety Center wants you to remember, if you pass by some pinwheels this month and are reminded of a bright and happy childhood, that’s a reality that abuse is taking away from local kids.
To report abuse or help a kid in need call 1-844-SAVE-A-CHILD. You can learn more about the nonprofit’s resources or donate here.