CULLMAN, Ala. – Cullman Caring for Kids (CCK) on Tuesday decorated green spaces and flower beds outside its office and food pantry located at 402 Arnold St. NE in Cullman with blue pinwheels and ribbons as the agency prepares to kick off national Child Abuse Prevention Month tomorrow. It will also welcome Southern comedians Darren Knight, “Red Squirrel” and Gary Cargel for a canned food drive from noon until 3 p.m. today.
CCK Administrative Assistant Tonja Grace told The Tribune, “The pinwheels are a national symbol for child abuse prevention. They symbolize a happy, healthy childhood. That’s why (CCK Assistant Director) Nancy (Bryant) came up with the slogan ‘Every child deserves a happy childhood.’ This is our reminder about our commitment to prevent child abuse. Prevention is the key!”
While the pinwheels are playful, the choice of color is more serious- the color of the toys and ribbons going up around town represents the bruises suffered by victims of child abuse, 21 of whom died last year in Alabama. CCK hopes to find individuals, organizations and businesses willing to display its blue ribbons all over town.
Grace remarked, “I want to paint the town blue.”
Ribbons can be picked up at the CCK office.
Meet “Southern Momma” today!
If you like Southern comedy, CCK has a treat for you Wednesday afternoon from noon until 3 p.m., as it hosts a fundraising event and food drive at its office featuring Munford, Alabama-based stand–up comedian Darren Knight, well-known to internet audiences for his “Southern Momma” videos. Knight will be joined by fellow comedians “Red Squirrel” and Gary Cargal, not just for a big show, but to help the CCK staff collect donations and distribute groceries.
Will pose for cans!
Folks are encouraged to stop by and bring canned goods for the CCK food pantry. To support its drive, if you bring at least 20 cans, you can have your picture taken with the comedy team.
A release from CCK read, “Join us for a day of fun, laughter and a mission to help feed hungry children.”
The comedy team’s visit kicks off a month of special activities related to child abuse prevention, including:
- April 1 – Distribution of ribbons and signs begins in downtown Cullman
- April 7 – Join CCK on Facebook Live at 9 a.m. to mark the National Day of Hope
- April 21 – Balloon release, decorating with ribbons and pinwheels at Heritage Park from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- April 22 – Celebrate Earth Day by helping plant a “tree of hope” at CCK. Daniel said that the tree represents “hope that people who have been abused can overcome that and recover.”
- The Cullman County Library Bookmobile will be at CCK from 9-11 a.m. each Monday.
- Parents are encouraged to join their children for fun, crafty and outdoor activities each Saturday, and to join as families for church, prayer and faith-based activities on Sundays.
Said Daniel, “All the events that we do in April will be for Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month. That’s our whole mission at Cullman Caring for Kids. It’s just an incredible month that we recognize those children that died in Alabama last year from child abuse. They were murdered by child abuse, and the individuals that did it just used child abuse as a way to kill them. And that’s all it is- it’s murder. Whether it’s neglect, physical abuse or sexual abuse- whatever it is- child abuse is murder if a child dies. And it’s, at best, assault even if a child doesn’t die. But that child will always be scarred because of that abuse. And here at Cullman Caring for Kids, our mission is to do everything we can to stop child abuse.”
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