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Pinwheels a vehicle for child abuse prevention awareness

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Pinwheels are popping up across west Michigan this month.

"We really are just bringing awareness to how each person in our community can prevent child maltreatment." 

Leigh Moerdyke is the youth development program director for Pathways, MI; one of multiple agencies 'planting' pinwheels across Ottawa County.

"The pinwheel really represents the health and happiness, and the happy childhood, that every child deserves." 

A Pinwheel Garden event brought community leaders and local and regional agencies together to kick off April’s Child Abuse Prevention and Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Moerdyke says Ottawa County officials reported a decrease in rates of substantiated child abuse and neglect cases in the county. She says community collaboration is a key reason for that success.

"To work together. To work on ensuring there are prevention services available for families." 

Moerdyke says there are many ways you can help, from speaking up and speaking out, to volunteer opportunities within your local agencies.

She says there’s also a need for foster parents in the community.

You can learn more about local services and events at pathwaysMI.org.

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