HELENA — April is National Child Abuse Awareness Month, and Strengthening Families Month in Montana.
Previous years would fill the State Capitol lawn with hundreds of pinwheels, but due to COVID-19 some changes were made for this year’s “Pinwheels for Prevention.”
While following social distancing guidelines, people are encouraged to make blue pinwheel art and display it at home. These could be painting a blue pinwheel on #406Rocks, making blue do-it-yourself pinwheels, or drawing blue pinwheels on sidewalks or windows.
People are encouraged to wear blue every Monday in April for “Go Blue Mondays” like previous years, but now they’re encouraged to digitally challenge five others to #GoBlueMonday.
Families are encouraged to post on they ways they’re supporting the cause on social media with #Pinwheels4Prevention.
Melissa Lavender with the Montana Children’s Trust Fund (MTCTF) says COVID-19 has created a challenging situation for many families, and urges people to raise awareness and help where they can.
“Parenting is difficult under the best of circumstances,” said Lavinder. “With added stress and uncertainty, we need each other more than ever right now. These virtual Strengthening Families Month activities provide a safe opportunity to stay connected and show support of children and families in Montana.”
MTCTF strategically supports initiatives to strengthen Montana families and keep children safe from abuse and neglect. Last year MTCTF provided direct preventative services to over 5,000 individuals across the state.
“Food, shelter, clothes, water, childcare, with those things not being readily accessible for many many families stresses are high."
MTCTF received a $10,000 Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana (BCBSMT) sponsorship for the virtual campaign and to help raise awareness.
“Kids are our future, and we want to ensure they grow up in safe, stable, loving environments and relationships,” said BCBSMT Vice President John Doran. “Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana is honored to continue its support of the Children’s Trust Fund and its efforts to strengthen families across our state.”
More information can be found at ChildrensTrust.mt.gov.