PEORIA AND BLOOMINGTON (HOI) – April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and advocates in Peoria and Bloomington marked the occasion as they do each year by planting pinwheel gardens.
The Pinwheel Project aims to change the way people think about child abuse, focusing on ways to increase awareness and prevention before abuse and neglect happen.
Crittenton Centers’ “Pinwheels for Prevention” planting is the first of many events to honor at-risk children.
“The best place to start is making sure the kids are healthy, and that their overall well being is taken care of,” said Jeff Gress, the Crittenton Center’s chief executive officer.
“That is very fundamental, and just making sure that abuse and neglect doesn’t take place. So we just all need to have a watchful eye,” Gress added.
In Peoria, outgoing Mayor Jim Ardis received the Dr. Cindy Fischer Kids First Excellence Award which honors his commitment to protect children and families.
In Bloomington, a similar pinwheel planting took place outside the McLean County Museum of History in Bloomington. The McLean County Child Abuse Prevention Coalition organized the event.
“Our coalition is dedicated to bringing awareness to child abuse and neglect in our community and building partnerships with our community members and agencies to support prevention efforts,” the coalition said on its Facebook page.