MEDINA, Ohio — The national symbol of child abuse awareness and prevention flutters in the breeze in front of a church near Medina’s Public Square.
The Community Pinwheel Walk to Prevent Child Abuse was hosted Saturday by the Children’s Center of Medina County. Nearly 150 residents helped plant 437 pinwheels in front of St. Francis Xavier church on E. Washington Street after a short walk from the square.
“Each of the 437 pinwheels represent one of the children abused or neglected in the county last year,” children’s center case manager Kim Brightbill said.
The nonprofit center opened in 2007 in a house on Highland Drive in Medina and assisted nearly 60 sexually abused children last year. Forensically trained case workers interview the children and provide investigators with a videotape of the sessions. And specially trained nurses perform physical examinations of the victims.
The center, funded by grants and donations that totaled $121,600 last year, also provides biological parents with a comfortable toy-filled home environment in which to visit with children who have been placed in foster homes, Brightbill said.
A child victim of abuse spoke before the walk that began about 10 a.m. Participants carried the pinwheels east on Ohio 18 to the church, planted them in the yard and walked back to the square to gather for refreshments.