Located on the lawn of the main entrance to Texas A&M University-Kingsville’s Manning Hall is a collection of dark blue pinwheels.
The pinwheels, from the Pinwheels for Prevention Campaign, will be displayed throughout the month of April as a reflection of Child Abuse Prevent Month.
“The pinwheels are symbolic to children,” said Kristina Bernal-Marichalar, advisor to the Sociology Honor Society, Alpha Kappa Delta (AKD).
“With the Pinwheels for Prevention, [members of AKD] have gone around the community and collected different donations,” said Bernal-Marichalar.
With each donation, sponsors pledge “to become a hero to children by accepting my responsibility to intervene and report every time we suspect that a child is being abused.”
“The whole focus of the month is making sure that TAMUK faculty, staff and students become more aware of the child abuse problem or child abuse in general,” said Bernal-Marichalar.
“I would say it is a problem here in this community, in Kleberg County.”
The proceeds brought in from the pinwheels will be given to Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children (CASA). CASA, a non-profit organization, consists of volunteers appointed by judges to watch over and advocate for abused and neglected children.
The pinwheels standing, totaling in 332, reflect the cases of confirmed child abuse/neglect victims in Kleberg County in 2012, as collected by Brush Country CASA.
“Any donation that AKD got, we would put [the sponsor’s] name on a pinwheel, and by them giving any type of donation, is pledging that they were going to report, if they ever saw child abuse,” said Bernal-Marichalar.
“And that’s really what we need; CASA, Child Protective Services (CPS), all those different groups, they don’t have enough eyes to see all the child abuse that’s going on or what child abuse is going on.”
As well as the pinwheels, AKD hosted a poster contest of homemade posters advancing the acknowledgment child abuse.
“The two biggest things I think Alpha Kappa Delta is doing in collaboration with the Pinwheels for Prevention is the poster contest,” said Bernal-Marichalar.
“All of the poster that we got, we’re going to place them in the (Kleberg County) Courthouse and display them for the month of April.”
By displaying the posters, AKD wants people visiting the courthouse will see that the Kingsville community will not stand for child abuse.