On April 1, members of the GFWC Illinois Morgan Park Junior Woman’s Club put up a “Pinwheel Garden” at St. Christina Field at 111th Street and Central Park Avenue.
We had permission to put up a banner and many bright blue and silver pinwheels at the park. Pinwheel Gardens are one of the ways our club seeks to encourage citizens to support our participation in raising funds for Prevent Child Abuse Illinois, a non-profit organization that works to educate people about how to keep children from abuse and neglect by their parents, caregivers and anyone who comes in contact with them.
Our banner was put on the outside of the fence facing 111th Street because there is a red light at that corner. We figured that, for those stopping at the light, the banner would catch their eye and they would read it.
The banner and pinwheels were set up on April 1. Our agreement was that we would clean up everything by the end of April. We also set up a “garden” at the Beverly Arts Center.
Last week, the state office of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs of Illinois received a call from someone who lives across the street from St. Christina Field. The person indicated that the banner was an eyesore from his home. The person also indicated that if it were not removed, he would do it.
We went to the park and removed the banner on the same day because we had our banners professionally made, they are expensive and we reuse them every year. The majority of the pinwheels were already removed as, we assume, children coming by the park took them, which is not unexpected and is not an issue with us.
Sadly, this was a lost opportunity to help us remind people of the need to protect children from abuse and to know that there is help for anyone who is overwhelmed by caring for a child.
We sincerely hope that the person who threatened the loss of our banner would consider that, perhaps, someone might have read our banner, seen the pinwheels spinning in the wind and decided to get help before hurting a child.
Saving even one child from abuse is worth it to us!
GFWC IL Morgan Park
Junior Woman’s Club