According to www.childwelfare.gov, National Child Abuse Prevention Month recognizes the importance of families and communities working together to strengthen families to prevent child abuse and neglect. Through this collaboration, prevention services and supports help protect children and produce thriving families. Each year the Mingo County Family Resource collaborates with other community partners to raise awareness for child abuse prevention with various activities throughout our communities, including flag raising ceremonies, planting of pinwheel gardens, and community walks.
On March 16, 2021, Mingo County Family Resource Network Executive Director Amy Hannah spoke during the Mingo County Commission meeting to request the commission proclaim April as Child Abuse Prevention month in Mingo County. After a reading of the proclamation, the commissioners unanimously voted in favor of approving the request.
When asked about the importance of Child Abuse Prevention Month and the events scheduled in the county, Amy says, ”I feel as though it is always important to show our support to our most vulnerable and valuable resource-our children. After the 2020 year that everyone experienced, I think it is even more crucial to create opportunities for our children to feel as though they can have some type of "normalcy" as they had previously known it.”
-Mingo County Wear Blue Day. Wear blue to show your support for Child Abuse Prevention Month.
- Flag Raising at Matewan City Hall 9:30am
- Flag Raising at Delbarton City Hall 10:00am
- Flag Raising at Harless Center in Gilbert 2:00pm
-Flag Raising at the City Flag Pole in Kermit 3:30pm
Note: Kermit was originally scheduled for April 5th, but to accommodate the schools it was moved to April 6th.
-Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Walk starts in front of the Mingo County Department of Health and Human Resources office, located on 3rd Avenue, Williamson at 12:00pm.
-The walk will end in front of the Mingo County Courthouse where the flag raising ceremony will take place.
Note: Normally, students from across Mingo County participate in this walk, however due to current COVID guidelines, the children will be unable to attend this year. All businesses, organizations, community groups, and residents are encouraged to attend.
-Champion for Children Awards Ceremony and Luncheon will be held at the Historic Mountaineer Hotel at 12:00pm.
-More information will be provided at a later date.
Amy tells us pinwheel gardens will be planted at each flag raising ceremony. Additional gardens will also be planted by the Head Start Centers in both Mingo and McDowell Counties; Williamson Women's Club; Dingess Action Committee; Living Water Child Care Center; Kidz and Company; Crossroads Recovery Home; Tug Valley Chamber of Commerce.
Will You Show Up?
Amy shares, “Showing up to a flag raising ceremony across the county or to the walk in Williamson makes a statement that even though they(the children) are unable to join us this year because of COVID restrictions, we see them, we believe in them, and we support great childhoods.”
Support Families & Children
Finally, if you’re looking for ways to support families and children, Amy offers these suggestions, ”There are so many different ways to leave a lasting impression on an at-risk family and to foster an environment where they can thrive. You can offer an overwhelmed parent a couple hour break by caring for children, take over dinner to the family who you know works during the day and may be too rushed to always make a home cooked meal, volunteer at a children's program or sports league, share your personal talents (gardening, drawing, playing of musical instruments, etc.) with youth in your area. This list could go on and on.”
To find out more about the Mingo County Family Resource Network, take a look at their Facebook page.
Photos from previous Child Abuse Prevention Month Activities provided by Mingo County Family Resource Network