WEST VIRGINIA (WOAY) – The Beckley and Oak Hill communities are standing together against child abuse.
The City of Beckley’s Mayor Rob Rappold and the City of Oak Hill’s Mayor Danny Wright read proclamations for National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Citizens planted blue pinwheels for the event as a way to represent hope for the children.
Traditionally kids from around the community take part in the “Plant a Pinwheel for Prevention” ceremony, but the cold weather kept them from coming out to this year’s annual event.
“Once these pinwheels are up, we have a number of people who will actually stop by the office and ask what’s going on, and that’s the intent of the pinwheels, is to create that awareness,” says the Mayor of Beckley, Rob Rappold.
Hosted by Just For Kids Child Advocacy Centers, this April marks the 39th year the organization has acknowledged the national prevention month.
Along with planting the pinwheels, people across the country are wearing blue to honor what the month represents.
Executive Director of Just For Kids, Scott Miller says it’s a way to help raise awareness of the issue and change the way people respond to child abuse.
“I think that for years people have felt like, oh child abuse happens but it doesn’t happen very often, it doesn’t happen in my community, but what we know is that child abuse happens everywhere, in every community, in every economic level, and when we think of it in a negative way, how horrible it is, then we don’t want to do anything about it,” Miller says.
Miller believes that by changing the conversation to hope and healing, people will get on board to actively stand against it.
It’s encouraged that anyone who feels like they may be a witness to child abuse to report it to the state. The West Virginia Child Abuse hotline number is 1-800-352-6513.
On Saturday, April 16, Just For Kids will host their first-ever Easter Fun Hike at the Beckley Youth Museum. Then, on Friday, April 22, they will be hosting their annual Champions of Children Gala at the Tamarack Convention Center.
For more information about these and other events, you can email them at email@example.com.