PO Box 257

Red Bank, NJ 07701

[email protected]

(732)542-1026

A home for children at risk of abuse or neglect

A 501(c) 3 non-profit organization

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Blog

August 6, 2019

As Pinwheel Place gets ready to open its doors to the families in our community in need I want to take some time to reflect on what that means. The symbolism of a door opening to us, is one of exciting new potential. How perfect is that for what we hope to accomplish with Pinwheel Place? Opening the doors to our community will mean opening doors of opportunities for families and a fresh start during a difficult time. It means opening doors to children of a stronger family and a brighter future. We will  let families know someone cares and show them that they have somewhere to turn in their darkest moments when they feel like no one can help them.  We will let them know that asking for help is a sign of strength not something to be ashamed of. We will open doors to other resources and help them navigate the sometimes overwhelming process of finding services that can help their family.  We will show them the many services that are already in place that they may not have known about previ...

June 17, 2019

If we took a survey in our community right now I imagine it would show that close to a hundred percent of us share some beliefs about children. We believe that they need to grow up safe and healthy and if they are hurt it is our responsibility to protect and support them. As a society we have been focusing our energy on the after-the-fact help. Helping people heal is important but it doesn't change the fact that they have been hurt in the first place. We need prevention to do that.

We formed Pinwheel Place for that reason, to prevent child abuse and neglect. I worked with children who were abused and believed that with love and support we could help them and end the cycle of abuse in their family. That was very powerful to me. When I became a mom and with time my perspective changed and I thought how are we allowing the abuse and neglect to happen to begin with. We need to come at it with an "upstream approach". We need to look at risk factors and protective factors for abuse. For examp...

Have you ever heard the phrase “it takes a village to raisea child”? Coming from a big Puerto Rican family it was.always one I could relate to. I had Titis and Tios (Aunts and Uncles), cousins, and second-cousins, grandparents and friends of the family I could always rely on for advice, to show up to my softball games, hit the mall or grab a bite to eat with. These people in my life were always there supporting me- but also working behind the scenes. Supporting my parents and my parents were supporting them- it was a sort of fluid system that kept us all happy and healthy. As an adult, I have come to realize that this system I was used to as a child and adolescent is more than just support- it is sustainability. This is how we survive and thrive as a species.

As a donor and patron of Pinwheel Place- you are our village! You are the behind the scenes sustainability warriors who are there silently for every challenge and accomplishment of growing Pinwheel Place, even if you do not realize...

May 18, 2019

A few months ago, I was looking for more in my life. I couldn’t quite put my finger on what was missing, but I knew that something was. 

I grew up working with kids, and not just working with them, but doing what I could in my community to make the world better and easier for them. Then I graduated high school and went away to college, and life got crazy. I moved back home almost a year ago now and, with a lot of hard work, life got less and less crazy. Until I reached a point where I knew I was ready to give again and that if I wanted my life to feel full, needed to. 

I found Lynn and Quady, and Pinwheel Place, through my mom. I got Lynn’s email from her and threw myself out there. It was scary, and I’m sure for them too- to let someone they didn’t know step into a role that none of us could define. But I wanted to do everything I could, and the more I learned, the more I realized how much there is to do. 

It absolutely blew my mind- as we pick this blog up again, we’re going to feature...

October 25, 2018

Many of you know my story with Quady. You know that we both share a passion to help children and that it has lead us to open Pinwheel Place. You also know that is something that we are doing together. If you know us, you also know that we share a love of Harry Potter, hence why our first tricky tray had that theme. Harry Potter came into our lives by accident. An elderly woman, Evelyn, and I met at the Ronald McDonald House. She was the Friday night volunteer and was always there when I came to work on the weekends, which at that time was quite often. As Evelyn started to have some memory issues I would just come earlier and spend time with her which allowed her to still volunteer which is something that she loved. One Christmas she asked me what Quady would like as a present and as Quady at the time was into Goosebumps I suggested that maybe she could get her one of the Goosebumps books. Evelyn loved that idea as she loved books (her daughter was the librarian at Ranney School long be...

August 19, 2018

At the end of July we packed up our suitcases and headed to Philadelphia to attend our first Trauma Training conference  . We came to the conference bright eyed and bushy tailed ready and eager to learn as much as we could so we could take our knowledge back to our community in New Jersey.  From the moment we stepped onto Thomas Jefferson University I felt like I was back in college. Not the part of college that had me dreading finals and unforgiving professors. No the first day of college where anything is possible and you’re on cloud nine to finally be around peers that share your passions . After getting my badge for the the three day training we were split into groups for the morning: Medical professionals , Social workers, Educators and Community Members . We were in the community members group which was lead by the organization Hope Heals based in Camden, New Jersey. Hope Heals  gives technology jobs  to  young adults that have often been through trauma .  They explained how they...

June 20, 2018

A few weeks ago we visited the Foundling Crisis Nursery in New York City. To give a little back ground  the Foundling organization has been around since 1869  and started as a shelter to  help protect abandoned infants.  Since then the  New York Foundling organization has gone way beyond  just caring for abandoned infants, they established a pediatric hospital, opened up one of the first ever preschools to care for the needs of working mothers, worked on creating a program to strengthen the family  and reduce  the amount of children in foster care and of course created a crisis nursery  in 1982.  A crisis nursery is essentially a place where a family in crisis can place their children  for a short period of time, at some nurseries it is only for 72 hours, in NY it is usually a few days but can be up to two weeks. Some families are homeless, others call because they feel so stressed they worry they will hurt their child, sometimes a single mom is in the hospital and her other children n...

February 9, 2018

In a time of mass predatory behaviors against children, it’s vital that we as human beings do our part to protect the most vulnerable and innocent among us. They are not only unable to protect themselves against an unstable adult with bad intentions, but they don’t always know when they are being mistreated and let’s just say it - abused. We must fight the tendency to become complacent or desensitized to the epidemic of child abuse. When trusted adults and even family members betray the trust of a child, that child’s world changes, sometimes forever. Several victims of convicted criminal Larry Nassar testified in court that they still feel dirty and damaged by what he did to them several years earlier - when they were children.

Nassar was a trusted, high-profile sports-medicine doctor. He served on the United States girls’ gymnastics team at four Olympic games, between 1986 and 2015. He was also a sexual predator. Among other crimes, he’s been accused of inappropriate conduct, namely se...

January 2, 2018

Happy New Year!!!! If you have been keeping up with us via social media or email you know that 2018 is going to be an important stop on our journey- the year we open the house. We are so excited to finally be able to fulfill our mission to help children at risk. Recently we held a fundraiser with a superhero theme and I thought I would share my speech for those who couldn't join us as a reminder of why we are on this journey. 

"Thank you so much for being here. I want to talk about why we are here, about those children we want to help, that we want to be heroes for. I know you know these kids and have thought to yourself what can you do? Remember the boy in your school or your child’s’ school who might have gotten slightly pushed on the playground or in the hall and reacted by getting violent or screaming, definitely overreacting to what had happened and you thought hmm I wonder what made him react like that. Or think about the little girl at the  table while at snack time or at th...

August 5, 2017

Typical childhood fears disappear as they get older, however fear-inducing traumatic events such as physical or sexual abuse or exposure to family violence contribute to lifelong impacts on wellbeing. Abuse causes chronic stress on the brain. Fear-triggering, threatening events that are frequent and repetitive contribute to physiological responses that affect learning, behavior as well as physical and mental health.

At the age of 6 to12 months babies develop the ability to form memories and thus begin to experience their first feelings of fear. The creation of memories, marks an important developmental stage in their lives. With the aid of memories they begin to shape their views of the world. Their brain learns and adapts through the experiences they have of their surroundings. 

In this sensitive yet pivotal phase of brain development, if the child is exposed to constant state of terror from abuse and violence, the optimal growth and functioning of the brain gets seriously hampered. Rep...

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