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YWCA of Kaua‘i hosts pinwheel planting, Open House for Child Abuse Prevention

LIHU‘E — The YWCA of Kaua‘i, and its system partner agencies and organizations, took a stand against child abuse Wednesday.

Volunteers from the different groups gathered to plant blue pinwheels in front of the YWCA building on Hardy Street, the group being treated to the unplanned gush of wind from vehicles passing Hardy Street off the roundabout and whirling the shiny blue pinwheels to life.

The blue pinwheels are a symbol for child abuse prevention and appeared elsewhere around town as a symbol of April being observed nationally as Child Abuse Prevention Month. The Kaua‘i District Health Office earlier planted pinwheels along Umi Street and wrapping around to its front entrance, and the American Medical Response planted pinwheels on its main office facility.

Capitalizing on the loosening of restrictions from the COVID-19, the YWCA organizers of the pinwheel planting capitalized on the meeting of volunteers to host an open house for its system partner agencies, organizations, and anyone interested in finding out more about child abuse and how to prevent it.

The National Child Abuse Prevention Month website points out the importance of communities working together to help families thrive and prevent child maltreatment.

“We can’t do this by ourselves,” said YWCA Director Renae Hamilton-Cambeihl. “It’s been a long time since we were able to get together like that, and I’m glad we could take advantage of this pinwheel planting to have the open house. It’s really been a long time since we were able to see each other.”

Off to the side of the line for food, a discrete slipper drive collection proudly showed its results on a table.

“Again, we can’t do this alone,” Hamilton-Cambeihl said. “This represents slippers people brought in. There are 67 pairs going to the Friends of the Children’s Justice Center, each slipper representing a child abuse case that crossed the desk of the Children’s Justice Center. The YWCA, through its shelter program, took care of more than a hundred children who had been mistreated.”

“These are actual cases that took place here in our home,” Hamilton-Cambeihl said. “Even one is too much.”

Theresa Koki of the county’s Life’s Choices program, a system partner with the YWCA of Kaua‘i, said April is also observed as Alcohol Awareness Month to being out information on helping those struggling with alcohol or drug use, one of the consequences being child abuse.

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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