Volunteers come together to make Pinwheel Pots for Child Abuse Prevention

At Brewster  Fire House, volunteers of all ages came together for the second time in two months to make pinwheel pots and bud vases to help the Child Advocacy Center of Putnam County (CAC) raise awareness that April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Working with the Friends of the Putnam CAC, Inc., 31volunteers, from ages 5–70 gathered to hand assemble the pinwheel pots and bud vases that will be sold to businesses and organizations across the county.

“Pinwheels are happy and uplifting tokens of childhood,” said CAC Program Coordinator Marla Behler. “They represent the safe, nurturing childhood that all kids deserve.” Each Pinwheel pot features blue and silver pinwheels, as well as a message from the volunteer who created it. “The number of people willing to donate their time to volunteer has been tremendous,” said Jenny Hinsman of the Friends of the Putnam CAC, Inc. “They embody the sense of community here in Putnam County and that everyone can help raise awareness about child abuse and have fun while helping others.”

In addition to the Brewster Fire Department, organizations who have partnered with the CAC include the Girl Scouts; the Putnam County Branch of the New York Riders; the Putnam County Youth Bureau’s Kids-N-Teens Mentoring Program with Putnam Valley High/Middle School, Mahopac High School/Fulmar Road Elementary, Carmel High School/ George Fischer Middle School and Haldane High School/Middle School. Families, individuals and teens have also volunteered.

This is the second year in a row that the CAC is partnering with the New York Chapter of Pinwheels for Prevention, part of a national campaign developed by Prevent Child Abuse America. The message, said Yeny McIntyre-Nalbone, victim advocate at the CAC and the creative force behind the pinwheels, is simple. “Child abuse is preventable,” said McIntyre-Nalbone. “Every act counts and everyone can make a difference in the life of a child.”

In addition to the Pinwheel pots and bud vases, three community gardens of pinwheels will be “planted” at the statue of Sybil Ludington in Carmel; Tilly Foster Farm in Brewster; and St. Mary’s Church in Cold Spring.

“Pinwheels are a fun way to show your support for the children of Putnam County,” said Behler. “In April there will be thousands of pinwheels across the county, and everywhere you see a pinwheel there’s a business, an organization or a person helping to stop child abuse before it starts.”

For more information on ordering a pinwheel pot or on child abuse prevention programs please call the Child Advocacy Center of Putnam County at (845) 808-1400 or contact marybeth.ross@putnamcountyny.gov.