It’s Child Abuse Prevention Month

by Lisa Hinton-Valdrighi

The Northumberland County Department of Social Services staff wore blue last Thursday to promote April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month. The employees also placed large wooden pinwheels on the lawn at the Social Services building in Heathsville for the campaign Pinwheels for Prevention. From left are, (front row) Susan Johnson, Dawn Neale, Anna Ball, Tonya Henry, Jerry Allison, Brooke Marks, Tori Morris and Carol Rosher; (next row) Melissa Carey, Amanda Gallagher, Jackie Clayton, Karen Adams, Lawana Harbin, Whitney Mitchell, Dani Jones, Keri Straughan, Bertha Campbell and Lisa Butler. Photo by Lisa Hinton-Valdrighi

HEATHSVILLE — The pinwheel is the national symbol for child abuse prevention and this month the lawn at Northumberland County’s Department of Social Services is adorned with four large blue pinwheels.

Across Virginia during April, which is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, some 100,000 pinwheels will be planted, according to Susan Johnson, resource parent program coordinator with the Northern Neck Foster Parent Program.

The pinwheel is a reflection of hope, health and safety and an uplifting symbol of childhood, according to the campaign. The accompanying Blue Ribbon Campaign, which was launched in Virginia, represents the children who have been harmed.

Every April, the Lewis Ginter Botantical Gardens in Richmond hosts the state’s signature pinwheel garden near a lake in the Children’s Garden. Volunteers plant nearly 4,000 pinwheels there to celebrate Virginia youths.

“Please come by Northumberland Department of Social Services to see the pinwheels planted in honor of the children in our community,” said Johnson.

To promote public awareness, the department will host a free community Family Fun Fair May 5 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Callao Volunteer Rescue Squad, 1348 Northumberland Highway, Callao. The event will include door prizes, pet adoptions, a mobile library, bounce houses, face painting, a giant slide, a photo booth and food.

Participants will include Northumberland County Public Schools, Northumberland Public Library, Resource Mothers Program, Northern Neck Food Bank, Family Planning Program, The Orchard, The LINK, American Red Cross, Bay Aging and Dominion Energy.

Also, The Haven Shelter and Services, Habitat for Humanity, Alzheimer’s Association, Right at Home in the Northern Neck, Interfaith Service Council, YMCA, Northern Neck-Middlesex Free Health Clinic, Peace of Mind Senior Care, Commonwealth Assisted Living and Northumberland County Health Department.

Also, Abilities Abound, Court Appointed Special Advocate, Riverside Home Health and Hospice, Empowering Youth for Positive Change, Dockside Health and Rehab, The Northumberland County Lion’s Club, Heart to Heart Career Training, Women Infants and Children Program, Middle Peninsula Northern Neck Community Services Board and Three Rivers Medical Reserve Corp.