CASA of Tarrant County helped 150 abused children last year, and it has the pinwheels to prove it. April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, where residents reflect on child abuse and neglect and what they can do to help prevent it. In observation of the occasion, CASA of Tarrant County has planted 150 blue pinwheels in the middle of Southlake Town Square, one for every child they helped in 2020.
“It’s meant to have that visual impact,” director of development Natalie Stalmach says. “Rather than a sign that just says ‘150,’ it shows what that actually looks like so you can visualize that these are real children.”
Having more than 400 active volunteers dedicated to children’s needs, CASA of Tarrant County helps abused and neglected children by pairing them with a court-appointed advocate that helps oversee their case. For Natalie, Child Abuse Prevention Month serves as an opportunity to remind people that there are hundreds of children dealing with issues they don’t always see.
“Child abuse is a hard topic,” Natalie expresses. “Children are removed due to child abuse and neglect in every city in Tarrant County. For a lot of people, we need to raise community awareness that it happens, even in parts of your community that you think it might not happen.”
With 500 children currently waiting for an advocate, Natalie says she hopes the 150 pinwheels remind others of everything their volunteers have accomplished so far and that there’s much work left to be done in 2021 and beyond.
“We need more advocates to speak up for these children so they don’t get lost through the cracks,” Natalie says. “It’s all our problem, whether we want to acknowledge that or not.”
You can currently view the 150-pinwheel display in front of the Southlake Town Square gazebo at 101 State St. To learn more about child abuse and what you can do to help, visit SpeakUpForAChild.org.