April was national child abuse prevention month, and the efforts made around Michigan to raise both awareness and financial help for local organizations battling this crime were amazing! People from all walks of life got together to make more Michigan residents aware of what’s happening behind closed doors, and money was raised to help non-profits all over the state who help children recover from the trauma of abuse and neglect. Here are a few highlights from all over the state:
The MSP held a food drive in Cadillac:
Michigan State Police partnered with OASIS Family Shelter to raise awareness and collect food for the OASIS shelter. Because April was both Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and Child Abuse Prevention Month, the drive was aimed at increasing community awareness of both issues, and providing the shelter with much-needed food items for families in need.
The State of Michigan held their annual day rally:
The State of Michigan’s Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Day Rally had hundreds of people gathering on the steps of the Capitol building in Lansing. They listened to speakers discuss the importance of the work being done in Michigan to prevent child abuse, listened to children from a local school sing, and marched down E. Michigan Ave to plant hundreds of blue pinwheels in a garden honoring children and their rights.
We Care for Kids Council taught children how to see and respond to danger:
In Montcalm County, the We Care for Kids Council taught kids in first and fifth grade classes around the county how to recognize and respond to dangerous situations. Mary Ellen Clery, executive director of We Care for Kids Council, who taught the classes, says that children often don’t realize that they have rights. The class teaches them personal safety and ways to protect themselves.
The Child Advocacy Network of Monroe County planted a pinwheel garden:
In Monroe County, the Child Advocacy Network planted hundreds of pinwheels (the national symbol of child abuse awareness) around the county to raise awareness during the month of April. The largest Pinwheel for Prevention garden, however, was planted outside the Monroe Department of Health and Human Services, which houses the county’s CPS headquarters.
Ottawa County organizations lined pathways with pinwheels:
A ceremony was held at the Ottawa County Fillmore Street Complex, hosted by the Stop Child Abuse and Neglect council. Pinwheels were planted lining pathways, so that pedestrians walking among them were reminded of the ongoing battle against child abuse and neglect, and the power of a single individual to protect a child in their community. The hope was also to make more people realize the need for additional Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers in Ottawa County.
All over the state, people came together to help the children of Michigan
As parents we know that child abuse is real, and the effects it has on children is disastrous. As lawyers, we understand how devastating it can be for a parent to be accused of harming a child you love. Especially if you’re innocent of wrongdoing, and the allegations against you are false!
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