Pinwheels for prevention

  • Published
  • By Paula Spooner
  • 81st Medical Operations Squadron
If you have been out and about the base lately, you may have noticed the eye-catching multicolored pinwheels in front of the Keesler Medical Center spinning in the breeze. Each of these pinwheels represent one of the nearly 1,300 kids who were substantiated for abuse or neglect in Harrison and Jackson counties in 2012.

Since 2007, the Keesler Family Advocacy Program has used "Pinwheels for Prevention" every April as an instrument of Child Abuse Prevention Month in reminding the base population that the prevention of child abuse and neglect is everyone's responsibility.

"Pinwheels for Prevention" is a national campaign started by Prevent Child Abuse America. Through this campaign, they hope to change the public's beliefs and behaviors regarding the prevention of child abuse and neglect. This goes beyond just making Americans aware of the issue - it extends to motivating them to take an active role in prevention and in their community.

Bring your kids to visit the pinwheel garden. And when you do, make a pledge to yourself, your children, your grandchildren, your neighbors and your community. You have the potential to make an impact on someone's life, so do it. Be a mentor to that brand-new dad. Take a friend's kids for the afternoon so she can have a much-needed break. Possess some parenting or relationship wisdom? Share it! Every time you reach out, you are adding one more thread to the blanket of protection that our little ones deserve.

We want to leave our kids a legacy of stable, loving homes; safe neighborhoods and schools, and myriad opportunities for success. To accomplish this, every single one of us must play a part in community awareness and prevention. Only by working together can we begin to make a lasting impact in the lives of our children.