The Carson City Legislative Building was adorned in silver and blue pinwheels Friday morning to raise awareness for child abuse and neglect.
Prevent Child Abuse Nevada and Advocates to End Domestic Violence hosted the annual pinwheel planting at the State Legislature to spread awareness about how the community can help keep children safe, happy and healthy for National Child Abuse Prevention Month. The pinwheels symbolize the freedom all children deserve.
“Everyone has a role in preventing child abuse and neglect,” said Amanda Haboush-Deloye from Prevent Child Abuse Nevada.
Before the pinwheel planting, the organizations held a ceremony on the front steps of the Legislature Building. One of the speakers was a woman who’s son was murdered by a neglectful babysitter, who advocated for stricter child abuse laws in Nevada.
Miss Lake Tahoe and president of CASA, Briana Neben, also spoke on her campaign to help end child abuse. Neben told the crowd the pinwheel points can have words assigned to each of the four points, that spell the acronym H.O.P.E. H for help, O for open discussion, P for persevere, and E for encourage.
“We need to open up the discussion about child abuse because we can’t talk about it if people don’t realize it is going on,” Neben said.
“We need to encourage each other to continue this fight,” she added.
Neben said the importance of the pinwheels is anyone who drives by on Carson Street notices them and gets the discussion started about child abuse in the community.
The Nevada First Lady, Kathleen Sandoval, had a representative at the event to give the organizations a certificate of recognition for their work to prevent child abuse in Nevada.
“I am proud to recognize what these organization do to save Nevada’s children,” the certificate said.
Dozens of community members joined the advocates to plant the pinwheels on the Legislature lawn.
“This isn’t an easy subject to talk about so this really brings awareness to people’s minds to think about,” said Kaia Bartling.
One of the big supporters of the event is Assemblyman P.K. O’Neil, who has been attending the event with his wife for several years.
“You just have to think who is the adult in the situation, there is no excuse (for child abuse),” O’Neil said.
“These people out here, they are making a difference.”
The nearly 1,100 pinwheels will stay on the Legislature lawn until next Friday.
The organizations also gave out bundles of pinwheels to the patrons so businesses and residences around Carson City can also display the pinwheels to show their support.