Get Ready for April: Start Planning Your Pinwheel for Prevention Event Now

T. Pitt Green, Founder

Would you consider holding an event that can give abused kids or teens hope – and a message there’s somewhere to go?

I remember, like most child abuse survivors remember, some random thing someone said, or some line from a movie, or some poster we saw or radio comment we heard … we remember that brief moment that provided just enough psychic juice to get through a little more time … one more step or day or week until whatever escape we might be brave enough to imagine.

Here’s the fact today.

There are kids and teens right now who are in the same situation.

They look as “normal” as everyone else. Like we did.

It is a sad reality. Kids and teens right now are suffering alone and in isolation.

Their worlds are shuttered to affirming messages from adults who should be taking care of them.

Sure, you can tell kids and teens that they have a place to turn to get help, but they won’t venture forward unless they sense or believe or hear or see something that lets them know they really do have a right to personal dignity and security.

How can you or your group get the message across?

All kids and teens – all human persons – have inherent dignity and deserve a safe environment, free of violence and abuse.

One way to hold up this message like a light in darkness is by hosting a Pinwheels for Prevention event.

Kids and teens notice, maybe participating, maybe riding a bike past an event, maybe seeing the news.

But they notice.

And, this is not the only reason to host a Pinwheels for Prevention event.

It’s my favorite reason, but there are others.

In Pinwheels for Prevention events, kids and teens get together with adults to reinforce what the Church is promoting in its child protection programs. And, your parish or group gets a chance to see the details about a safe environment program they may not know about.

And events share the resources and best practices widely, too. Pinwheels for Prevention events reach beyond church facilities and groups. They are often covered in the news. Communities take note. Decision-makers realize resources exist to help promote safe environments where they are.

Pinwheels for Prevention Events are joyful gatherings with a clear, simple message about the dignity and basic right for security and freedom from abuse and violence.

They let people from a parish or school community get together to help affirm corrective actions the Church is taking to protect children – and to shine a light in our communities about child protection. For their own kids and teens to see reinforced. For other kids and teens to see, perhaps from afar.

Events offer information that is easily shared, and resources that are helpful to have on hand all year long.

What can you do?

Start today.

Plan for April, National Child Abuse Prevention Awareness month.

We can help.

To help your group plan and host such a happy event in which your parish and/or school can participate, Mike Hoffman created:

Mike’s Kit for Hosting a Pinwheel for Prevention Event. 

Events are held around the country in April every year, as part of National Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month.

Start now. You have time.

What kinds of places hold events? 

Parishes, schools, Catholic organizations but also …

Hospitals, clinics, social work agencies …

Law enforcement offices, fire departments …

Universities …

You name it.

Pinwheels for Prevention are held outside businesses and government buildings.

The difference?

Catholic settings usually include a prayer service or Mass.

The Kit for You

In a few easy steps, which all build community around safe environment and human dignity, you or your family or your friends, or your youth group or parish ministry can host an event whose message can ring across neighborhoods and communities.

Delivering the message to the kid or teen when no one else may have done so.

If you have more questions beyond Mike’s Kit, feel free to reach out to ask Mike about his experiences creating this events for years now.

And, if you hold an event? Send us a story. Send us photos or a video. We’d love to post it!

If you found this helpful, you might like a weekly roundup of posts delivered to your mailbox. Subscribe for free here.