April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month...and thousands of cases are reported every year in Georgia.
The Columbia County Exchange Club is working to bring that number down. News 12's Stephanie Baker is on your side with their unique approach to raise awareness.
Washington Road is a busy place during Masters Week. If you drove it Saturday morning, you might have noticed rows of pinwheels at the intersection of Washington and Bobby Jones Expressway.
Bright spinning pinwheels bring happy memories of childhood for many. But now they're taking on a new role. Each one represents one of the 171 Columbia County children abused in 2004.
"By putting these up, it will cause people to think hey, that's a lot of cases in Columbia County," says Exchange Club president Jeff Asselin. He hopes the flashy display will shed light on the roughly 50,000 Georgia kids abused in 2004.
"It will cause parents to think 'I don't need to abuse my kid'," he says.
It worked for driver Earl Houston...he pulled off the busy street to ask how he could help.
"I love kids and I wanted to do something," Houston said.
Walgreens worker Becky didn't want to give her last name. She says the busy location means lots of people see the display.
"I think it's a great thing for the community to see all the child abuse that does go on," Becky said.
The issue hits close to home for the volunteers. Asselin says most have kids of their own.
"We've all been to the abuse centers and volunteered time, and we've seen how kids are affected," he says.
They hope one day these pinwheels won't have to symbolize abuse...they can instead represent happy memories for all children.
Pinwheels for Prevention does this project every year, but this is the first time it's been in Columbia County. The Exchange Club will move the pinwheels to a new location every weekend throughout April. Next week they'll be at the Columbia County courthouse.