Before the COVID-19 pandemic overtook our everyday lives, the CAN Council was gearing up for the most eventful Child Abuse Prevention (CAP) Month yet — with 133 pinwheel gardens committed, three county CAP Month Kick-Off Ceremonies booked, and Prevention Education trainings scheduled across Bay, Huron and Saginaw counties — the calendar was packed full of all sorts of Child Abuse Prevention events. That quickly changed as the virus continued to spread and a Stay-at-Home order was instructed, but it did not slow CAN staff down.

Within a week, a new virtual campaign was developed and implemented. Virtual pinwheel gardens were “planted” in the form of cover photos,  families colored pinwheels and displayed them proudly in their windows, and supporters all across Michigan participated in #WearBlueDay2020 in an effort to raise awareness of the healthy, happy, and full lives that all children deserve. CAN is particularly proud to have been able to offer our staple presentations to the community through a video series called Ryan Reads, which featured our Berenstain Bears Learn About Strangers and Safer, Older, Smarter programs presented by CAN Council Prevention Education Coordinator Ryan Willard.

CAN also collaborated with community partners to offer a multitude of activities for families to participate in from the comforts of their home. The Saginaw Art Museum, Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum, Yoga by Kathryn, and artist Carly Peil all contributed to this initiative. We are so grateful for the support of our community in making Child Abuse Prevention Month such a success!

Rest assured; Child Abuse Prevention does not end in April. Real change happens within our homes, workplaces, faith organizations and community. Join the movement by scheduling a presentation, volunteering with CAN, or by donating towards our prevention efforts. Most importantly, SPEAK UP. If you see something, say something. Children who are facing abuse and neglect at home need us now, more than ever.  If you suspect child abuse, call 855.444.3911 – your call can be anonymous. Together we CAN stop child abuse and neglect.