WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) - With a new building, the staff at Hope Haven is also trying a new approach to children's advocacy.
On Sunday, the inaugural teen board gathered at the new building on Highway 90 in Waveland as part of a Child Abuse Prevention Month event. According to Hope Haven board member Cindy Hornosky, the teen board is made up of four students from Hancock High, four students from Bay high, two from Stanislaus and two from Our Lady Academy that are all going to serve on our teen board for the next year.
"Their purpose is two-fold. The first purpose is for them to become aware of the issue of child abuse, Hornosky said. "We also believe that children and teens are more likely to disclose to someone near their age rather than to an adult."
The teen board members placed hundreds of pinwheels outside the building facing Highway 90 in Waveland, each representing one child currently in foster care in Hancock County. Abby Guy wants to help curb the rate of child abuse in her community, and says the pinwheel is the perfect symbol for Child Abuse Prevention Month.
"Children play with pinwheels when they are younger, so it's the perfect national symbol for Child Abuse Prevention month," Guys said. "By putting the 359 pinwheels in front of Hope Haven today, we are reminding all of the passer-byes that whenever they see the color blue or a pinwheel that there's a problem in our community;359 is way to high a number for such a small community."
For teens like Victoria Feazelle, the chance to help a child what it's all about.
"I'd really like to help my community grow and see that even though I'm doing a little thing, just the tiniest little thing can really help improve a child's life in the foster care system," Feazelle said.
Hope Haven officials believe the new building will make the organization more equipped to help every child in need.