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Children’s Advocacy Center Plants Pinwheels to Raise Awareness

SCRANTON — There’s quite the crowd outside the courthouse in downtown Scranton. But it’s not a crowd of people, it’s a crowd of pinwheel...

SCRANTON -- There's quite the crowd outside the courthouse in downtown Scranton. But it's not a crowd of people, it's a crowd of pinwheels. But like people, the pinwheels stand with a unified message.

"We're planting 1,148 pinwheels and they symbolize all the children and teenagers we've given service for as the Children's Advocacy Center for all of 2014," said Jennifer Aglialoro with the Children's Advocacy Center.

The center helps youngsters who have been sexually or physically abused or neglected. This is the fifth year the pinwheels have been placed on the lawn as part of next month being child abuse prevention month.

James Richards is one of those volunteers helping plant the pinwheels. He's going through Lackawanna College's police academy right now and says seeing all these pinwheels reminds him why he's training to become an officer.

"It gives you a little bit more of a drive to help out. It just reinstates that fire a lot of us have that go into law enforcement," Richards said.

Along with the officers-in-training, students from Old Forge High School also helped out.

"Abuse is a tough subject to talk about. To come out here and to bring awareness to an abuse subject whether it's neglect, physical abuse, any type of abuse, especially with children, it's very important to me personally," Old Forge senior Bobby Rinaldi said.

Volunteers say they hope these pinwheels send a message--a message about the sheer number of people affected by child abuse.

"This is a community problem, child abuse. And it really needs a community response," said Aglialoro.

"We did this so that people could see what goes on. You can see the impact. There's so many out there that this is just the cases that were addressed. If you think about the cases that weren't addressed, there's even more than that," said Rinaldi.