Brightly colored pinwheels are a symbol of childhood and the innocence that should be inherent to that time in our lives. The wind-propelled movement of an expanse of beautiful blue pinwheels catches the eye quicker than any headline. They spin in the air flashing brilliant shots of vivid color that capture our attention, momentarily mesmerizing us. In Fort Worth take a drive down South University and see the 5,689 blue pinwheels on the TCU campus. As you smile at their whimsical beauty know that each pinwheel represents one child who was a confirmed victim of physical or sexual abuse in Tarrant county last year. That is quite a large number of children. Now, expand your thoughts and think of how many more children did not cry out or whose cries went unheard. It happens; too frequently.
I have read and heard comments that the pinwheels do not make a difference. In and of themselves the pinwheels do not change laws or policies. However, the awareness they bring to this epidemic does cause change. Over the past two years, I have personally witnessed people stop to view the pinwheels and stay to hear the story behind them. Each new person who chooses to stand in the truth about physical, emotional, and sexual abuses against our children is one more voice standing up for a child. As the voices grow louder and our numbers grow larger so does awareness. Together we can focus on preventing child abuse and make our legislators pass bills to enact tougher laws for child abusers and for those who protect the abusers (or fail to protect the child).
Every year I place at least one blue pinwheel in my yard. This year I planted six atop bales of hay; a simple display. Yet, as I work in my yard people stop to mention the pinwheels and I have my chance to share the truth about child abuse. As I shop local stores, friends and acquaintances stop to mention the pinwheels in my yard. Again, I have an opportunity to spread the message and mention local agencies for more information on how to make a difference.
In answer to the nay-sayers, Yes, the Pinwheels for Prevention campaign does make a difference.
For more Information On How to Make a Difference of For Counseling
Dallas Advocacy Center
Center for Public Policy Prioritities (Texas)