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For immediate release: April 9, 2015
Contact: Monica Mahaffey
Phone: 518-402-3130

OCFS 'Pinwheels for Prevention' Event Raises Awareness During Child Abuse Prevention Month

The New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) planted a "Pinwheels for Prevention" garden to raise awareness of child abuse in observance of Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month.

OCFS Deputy Commissioner for Child Welfare Laura Velez and Rensselaer City Clerk Nancy Hardt joined employees on Thursday, Apr. 9 to plant the garden full of colorful pinwheels in Huyck Square at the corner of Third Avenue and Washington Street near the OCFS Home Office and Rensselaer City Hall. The garden will serve as a visual reminder that everyone has an important role in preventing child abuse and nurturing the children of our community.

Employees sold the pinwheels in the days leading up to the event to raise money to benefit St. Paul’s Center, an emergency shelter for mothers and children, in Rensselaer. Employees raised more than $1800 to benefit St. Paul’s Center. OCFS began the tradition of planting a pinwheel garden in 2013, when it also partnered with Rensselaer City Hall. OCFS pinwheel events have supported the Rensselaer City Youth Bureau, CEO Family Resource Center and now St. Paul’s Center, while observing Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo proclaimed April to be Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month in New York State and highlighted continued preventive services and supports to give children the bright, hopeful futures they deserve.

“Child Abuse is a serious subject,” said Deputy Commissioner Laura Velez. “The pinwheel garden turns our attention to the worry-free life children deserve and it is a stunning reminder of how important it is to provide children with safe, nurturing families.”

Since 2008, the pinwheel has been a national symbol for child abuse and neglect prevention. In the Rensselaer pinwheel garden the sign reads:

Turning Toward A Safer World for Children
Shining in the sun, these pinwheels
represent a bright future for our
children and our community.

We want all children to live in stable,
loving, and stimulating environments -
at home, in school and in the community.