April is Child Abuse Prevention month, and the Gordon County Child Advocacy Center is holding the Great Chili Challenge tomorrow, April 21 from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. at the Gordon County Social Services Building, located at 121 Newtown Road in Calhoun. The event, to raise awareness of Child Abuse Prevention month, is also a fundraiser.

There are several prizes that will be raffled off that business’ in the community have donated. The winner of the cook off will receive a trophy; at press time, 13 pots of chili had entered the competition.

According to the Gordon County Child Advocacy Center, the chili cook off will become an annual event beginning this year. 

This year's theme for Child Abuse Prevention month is Building Community, Building Hope. Strong, nurturing communities that are supportive of families can play a role in preventing child abuse and neglect and promoting child and family well-being. 

Communities have a great influence in families' lives. Everyone can get involved and play a role in preventing child abuse and neglect and promoting child and family well-being. 

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, different levels can help you get involved to strengthen your community!

Baby steps

  • Meet and greet your neighbors.
  • Go to a parents' meeting at your child's school.
  • Use the Activity Calendars to plan activities in your community.

Small steps

  • Set up a playgroup in your community at people's homes or local park (consider inviting people who may not have children at home, like local seniors).
  • Organize a community babysitting co-op.
  • Volunteer at your child's school through the school's administration or the parent's organization.
  • Encourage local service providers to produce a directory of available services that are easy to find in the community.

Big steps

  • Organize a community event (a block party, father/daughter dance, parent support group)
  • Run for an office in the parent organization at your child's school.
  • Attend local government meetings (city council or school board meetings) and let them know how important resources are in your community. Let them know how parks, strong schools, and accessible services help to strengthen your family and other families.

In early April, multiple agencies and the public participated in placing pinwheels at the Calhoun Depot for Pinwheels for (Child Abuse) Prevention, in honor of Child Abuse Prevntion Month.