As the pinwheels that were placed in downtown Clinton circled in the wind, Zoe Phillips realized just how many children are victims of child abuse and immediately decided she wanted to do something to help.
Zoe, a fourth-grade student at Sunset Avenue School, is collecting clothes and blankets to be given to children who are in need and have been victimized by any form of child abuse. Donations are being accepted at the school through the end of the month.
“Each clove on the pinwheel represents a child who was saved from abuse,” Zoe said. “I wanted to do something to help the many children that have been abused in some way.”
Zoe said she visited the display of pinwheels in the downtown Clinton area with her family. Once she realized just how many children have been a victim of abuse, the fourth-grader said she started thinking and planning and writing down ideas about the ways she could help.
In many cases, when children are abused and removed from their home, they are forced to leave with nothing.
“A child who is getting abused needs clothes because they don’t have anything,” Zoe said.
Many fourth-grade students are unaware that child abuse is taking place in their school, but Zoe said she is fully aware that it happens everyday. Describing abuse as someone getting hurt for no reason, Zoe said there are different types of abuse.
“It can be bruises from being beaten or it can be hurt feelings from mean things being said,” Zoe shared.
Zoe’s mother works for the Department of Social Services, so Zoe is well aware of the many cases of child abuse across the nation. In addition to collecting items at her school, she has been walking her neighborhood passing out flyers and asking her mom’s coworkers to help.
“Students can make a difference,” Zoe said. “Some people will go through this their whole life or someone may be going through this and we don’t know. That’s why it’s important for us to help.”
New and gently used items are being accepted. All sizes are being accepted, as well. For anyone who would like to donate, there is a box at Sunset Avenue in the guidance office or clothes can be dropped off at the front office with school personnel.
“This problem is serious,” Zoe said. “It isn’t something we can ignore.”
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.