April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month | Duneland groups collaborate on child abuse prevention

Written by MarciaSweet. Posted in Community News & People in the News, Featured

Published on April 07, 2021 with No Comments

Two Duneland organizations are joining forces to raise awareness about April’s National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Duneland Exchange Club and Dunebrook, a non-profit human services agency, will both be hosting a series of events during April to call attention to child abuse.

The two agencies have worked together for years. Duneland Exchange Club paid for Dunebrook’s Body Safety programming to be shared in Chesterton schools. However, in an effort to extend their reach, the two are sharing prevention events.

“Education is so critical to stopping this,” said Duneland Exchange Club President Lorelei Weimer. “The Exchange Club advocates for several different issues in addition to child abuse prevention: We support veterans, first responders, patriotism, our local schools and students. Child Abuse Prevention is different because it is such a sensitive topic, but it is a big part of what we do.

“Dunebrook helps students and their parents have those difficult conversations. And, they instruct teachers so they will know what to look for.”

Lisa Scheller, director of development for Dunebrook, said the agency was “very fortunate” to partner with Duneland Exchange Club.

“If it wasn’t for the Duneland Exchange’s generous financial support, the Body Safety and Safer, Smarter Teens would not be reaching every student in the Duneland Schools,” Scheller said.

Scheller said Porter County received 264 substantiated cases of child abuse and neglect. Many more cases went unreported, Scheller added.

“(We) can make a difference because child abuse is 100% preventable,” Scheller said.

Scheller said she hopes local residents will create blue pinwheel gardens during the upcoming weeks

“The blue pinwheel is a symbol of the innocence and playfulness of childhood and reminds us of the bright future that every child deserves” Scheller said. “Communities across the nation are displaying blue pinwheels to show their commitment to creating safer, abuse-free childhoods…Show your support of our community’s children and inspire others to do the same by planting a blue pinwheel garden.”

To raise awareness, the Duneland Exchange Club is selling Child Abuse Prevention kits. The $20 package contain a yard sign, a blue ribbon lapel pin, and a pinwheel which the club will use as part of a public display at Porter Park during April. The pinwheels will surround an 8-foot-tall blue ribbon. The kits can be ordered on the club’s website at www.dunelandexchageclub.org and picked up at Porter Bank’s main branch.

Dunebrook has several events planned online and around the Michigan City area. Special speakers are planned for its “Tuesday at Ten Conversations,” an online event that addresses various social topics. An online auction is planned for April 14-27m and several restaurants have fundraising events. For more information on all of these activities, visit  www.Dunebrook.org.


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