Planting pinwheels with ‘Just for Kids’ to advocate for Child Abuse Prevention Month

During this National Child Abuse Prevention Month and beyond, it’s all about making sure children have the beautiful life they deserve.

So it’s all about pinwheels.

“A visible symbol of something that goes on, we’re happy to support that, happy to be a part of it and thankful that they’re doing that,” said Sheriff Jim Canaday, of the Raleigh County Sheriff’s Department.

Canaday adds that anytime you have an abusive situation, whether with one (child) or 100 — it’s bad.

Pinwheels have been adopted as the national symbol for child abuse. Planting a pinwheel represents the importance of all children experiencing a safe and healthy childhood.

Raising awareness can save children.

“That way all of the community when they drive by this beautiful facility can actually see the pinwheel garden,” said ‘Just for Kids’ Child Advocacy Center director Dr. Deanee Johnson. “And it’ll just be a sea of nothing but blue and silver pinwheels to represent that hope, resiliency and strength within children.”

Canady says the relationship the sheriff’s department and the prosecutors have with the child advocacy center is invaluable.

“It’s a support system for them, it’s an investigative mechanism for us — and I think it helps not only with the law enforcement process but also with the healing process,” said the sheriff. “And those two don’t have to be separate; they can be synonymous.”

The center provides advocacy and therapy and all their services are free of charge. Johnson says often children who experience child abuse may not feel they have a voice or sometimes they really don’t.

“It allows us to be that child’s voice and to allow them to have that safe child friendly, child developmentally appropriate space for them to come to,” said the director.

So the advocacy center is here to be that voice for them.

“To advocate on their behalf, to ensure that their best interests are being made,” Johnson said. “It’s allowing us to be part of the solution rather than perpetuating a problem that’s really devastating.”

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