The pinwheel, the simple children's toy spinning in the breeze, has taken on a more meaningful role as the official symbol for healthier starts for all children and for the prevention of child abuse.

The Dublin/San Ramon Women's Club joins its General Federation of Women's Clubs, the Bay Area Crisis Nursery and the Child Abuse Prevention Council of Contra Costa County during April, the National Prevent Child Abuse month.

A committee of club members worked diligently with Carol Carillo, the council's executive director, to create brochure on "Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse & Neglect."

They are now available in the San Ramon and Dublin school districts, Tri-Valley post offices, libraries, food banks, Bay Area Crisis Nursery, preschools and other places where people have contact with children. The club funded the project and distributed about 600 brochures.

Committee member and incoming club President Joan Ernst says the goal of the committee was to get the word out and provide an informational and concise resource with steps to follow should someone suspect a child is being abused or neglected.

A retired teacher and principal, Ernst sadly recalls two times in her 33-year career that she had to contact Child Protective Services for suspected child abuse.


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"Our goal (with the brochure) is to be informational and directional," says Ernst. The new product is concise and clearly written to let people know what to do if they encounter or suspect neglect or physical, emotional or sexual abuse of a child.

It includes practical information about making a report to Child Protective Services, why and when to make a report, what happens after a report is made and a list of resources for families and youth from the Child Abuse Prevention Council and Bay Area Crisis Nursery to the Tri-City Health Center and Children's Emergency Food Bank. Hot line numbers for Child Protective Services, area police departments and more are also included.

Members of the Women's Club Child Abuse Prevention Committee in addition to Ernst include: Pricilla Fitzgerald, Patty Wills, Gerry Silva, Sharon McKenna, Carol Rowley and Pat Anderson.

The club also announced that the Child Abuse Prevention Council of Contra Costa County and Foster a Dream, which benefits area foster children, will be the beneficiaries of the Club's 2014 Holiday Fantasy to be held in November. The fashion show and lunch, now in its 20th year, has raised more than $275,000 for dozens of local nonprofit organizations.

HELP THE ANIMALS: Paws In Need will hold a one-day yard sale May 3 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Milfleur, 200 Ray St. in Pleasanton at the historic Kottinger Barn between Main and First streets. The event will benefit Jackie Barnett's Just Like New Fund, which provides financial assistance to Tri-Valley residents who cannot afford urgent veterinary care for their pets. The event will also benefit its spay/neuter program.

New and gently used items such as home and garden décor, jewelry, tote bags, kitchenware, pet items and more will be for sale. To make a yard sale donation or for details, contact Ellen Magnie at ellenmagnie@gmail.com or 510-305-2553. Visit www.Paws-In-Need.org for more information.

Contact Monica Lander at landerfamily@comcast.net.