HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — In recognition of National Child Abuse Prevention Month in April, the UPMC Pinnacle Foundation is proud to be participating in Pinwheels for Prevention.
It’s a nationwide campaign that brings awareness to the many ways people can help prevent child abuse. Proceeds benefit the UPMC Pinnacle Children’s Resource Center, a nationally accredited child advocacy center that serves kids in our community who are suspected of having suffered sexual or physical abuse, or who have witnessed violence.
“While our community’s focus may be centered on the current pandemic, we cannot lose sight of children who need our help – perhaps now more than ever. More than 24,000 cases of child abuse are reported annually in Pennsylvania. The CRC needs your help to continue its important work,” stated Jessica Ritchie, vice president of development, UPMC Pinnacle Foundation.
The UPMC Pinnacle Children’s Resource Center offers licensed therapists, a specially trained child interviewer, medical staff, and support services.
“Since 1994, the CRC has helped more than 10,000 children by working to connect them and their caregivers with the critical mental health and social services needed,” said Lynn Carson, PhD, manager, UPMC Pinnacle Children’s Resource Center. “In addition to gaining access to these important services in the wake of abuse or tragedy, they are available at no cost to these families.”
Families and young victims have expressed immense gratitude for the reassurance and support provided by the agency and caring staff, claiming that without them, they would feel more lost and confused.
“Everyone was so nice, supportive, and kind. We were never left alone and had someone guiding us through the entire process. The staff was so helpful and really listened to us during the extremely stressful time. I am so glad the center was there to help us,” said the mother of a young girl who was abused by a mentor and received services at the UPMC Pinnacle Children’s Resource Center.
Despite the difficult nature of the work, Carson says she is proud to be a part of an organization that works collaboratively with the community to educate about child abuse and neglect, as well as help the victims and their families heal and move forward.
“Every child deserves a chance for a happy and bright future. We remain dedicated to reducing the occurrence and aftermath of child abuse for all in central Pennsylvania. As a result, we are seeing justice served and feelings of hope replace those of hopelessness,” said Carson.
Each year, there are more than 24,000 cases of child abuse reported in Pennsylvania, and that number continues to rise. By participating in the Pinwheels for Prevention campaign, you can become an integral part of the team that helps kids heal.
To donate, visit UPMCPinnacle.com/Pinwheels.