Pinwheels raising awareness about child abuse in Lowndes Co. - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Pinwheels raising awareness about child abuse in Lowndes Co.

Sandra Wilcher Sandra Wilcher
Sabrina Smith Sabrina Smith
VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) -

Spring is the time when we get out and start planting things like flowers and trees. But in Valdosta Friday, people planted pinwheels at city hall.
 
The pinwheels in the front lawn of the Valdosta City Hall may look pretty, but that's not the reason elected officials, school employees and members of law enforcement put them there.

"We just see this as a way to bring to the community the knowledge of the problem of child abuse and awareness and hopefully help a child be protected from child abuse," explained Sandra Wilcher, Social Services Coordinator for Lowndes County Schools.

The event started in Lowndes County 12 years ago and has since grown into a national event, as a way to kick off National Child Abuse Prevention Month in April.

887 pinwheels were placed in the lawn, each one representing a child who was reportedly abused in Lowndes County last year. The members who placed these pinwheels in the ground hope to raise awareness about the issue in Lowndes County, with the ultimate goal of eventually not having to place any pinwheels.

"When I see 887 pinwheels," said Wilcher, "I think of 887 lives of children and their families and how we can support them to help them overcome whatever problem has caused them to make a poor choice."

Sabrina Smith investigates child abuse cases for the Valdosta Police Department, but she also helped plant the pinwheels for a more personal reason.

"As a former victim of child abuse, because I am now a victor, I think events like this are very important because it allows our community to see that we are working together; that there are different agencies that are comin' together," Smith said.

The pinwheels will now stand as a shining reminder of the community's effort in the fight against child abuse.

Blue ribbons were also tied to the light posts along the streets surrounding city hall.

Copyright 2014 WALB.  All rights reserved.

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