DIY Ways to Promote Prevention in Your Community

DIY Ways to Promote Prevention in Your Community

Who doesn’t love a good do it yourself project for the whole family! It’s the perfect way to keep our creative minds going. We created the Inspiration Center to showcase some simple DIY ways people all over Colorado are getting out into their neighborhoods and communities to use Pinwheels for Prevention® to inspire a conversation about how every day, you can plant seeds for all children to grow up happy and healthy during Child Abuse Prevention Month. Here are just a few of our favorite ways to promote prevention with pinwheels! 

Create your Own Pinwheel Bouquet

Visit the  Inspiration Center Pinterest Board to find DIY instructions for making your own pinwheel bouquet! You will be able to keep them in doors or even on your patio to make the pinwheels swirl with the Spring breeze. All you need are just a couple of materials:

  • a miniature ceramic pot,
  • some Styrofoam, fake grass/ moss, your preferred ribbon,
  • a hot glue gun and PINWHEELS!!!

    *Please supervise your children with the hot glue gun, the tip gets very hot and can burn the child.*

Connect with Your Neighborhood

If you are looking for something bigger, with less risk of experiencing burnt fingertips from a hot glue gun, try taking a walk around the neighborhood with some pinwheels. We love the idea of ordering in BULK, getting out into the neighborhood or your building to drop a handful of pinwheels on your neighbor’s doorstep.

Step One: Get a wagon or bag to carry your pinwheels and take a short walk leaving a few pinwheels on each doorstep. PROTIP Leave a little card to let folks know you care and make a new friend!

Step Two: Put the leftover pinwheels in your front yard for FREE pickup and post on Nextdoor letting folks know that the pinwheels represent the bright future we all want for the kiddos in the community.

Step Three: Put your pinwheels in your front yard for everyone to see. You can add these pinwheels wherever you prefer, but we love the look of using the empty planter to symbolize that we are growing a better tomorrow for all children, together. The only thing you will need is a bigger ceramic or plastic pot. Fill up the pot with your year round soil and of course we cannot forget the pinwheels!

Step Four: Walk the neighborhood a few days later to see how many of your neighbors followed your lead p[anting their pinwheels in their front yards! It’s a sweet way to connect during these socially distant times.

    Masks up with a Pinwheel

    Who wouldn’t want to wear a pinwheel on your mask? The whole family can rock their own pinwheel mask. The materials you will need is just blue fabric, needle and thread. The video featured on the inspiration center shows you step by step instructions for creating a full cotton mask or if you just want to add a little pinwheel to another mask, we will show you that too! **CDC guidelines recommend to wear a mask in any public establishment indoor or outdoor. For more information please visit**

    Enter the #GrowingBetterTogether Photo Contest

    Don’t wait to highlight the DIY way you’re promoting prevention this month by entering the #GrowingBetterTogether photo contest and VOTE for your favorite photo. Photos with the most votes on Tuesday, April 27, 2021 at 1:00 pm (MTN) win the opportunity to select a Colorado nonprofit serving children and families to receive a $1000, 300 or $200 mini grant! 

    Special thanks to Colorado Child Welfare Scholars Consortium for helping To make this photo contest possible!

    Visit the Inspiration Center to find out how others are using their pinwheels to promote prevention and follow #GrowingBetterTogether to connect to the movement in your neighboorhood.  

    A New Community Is Building a Stronger Foundation for Illuminate Colorado

    A New Community Is Building a Stronger Foundation for Illuminate Colorado

    Every year, April arrives amid a flurry of action and awareness surrounding Child Abuse Prevention Month. And every year, April ends and the resounding echoes of awareness campaigns fade to a whisper.

    For thirty days, it’s so exciting to see all the awareness being spread and the work being done to create brighter childhoods. We even posted a blog this past week highlighting everything going on throughout the month of April. It’s, without a doubt, an exciting time to talk about the important work that we do.

    But the work isn’t over when April ends. And that’s why we need Luminaries.

    Building Brighter Childhoods Year-Round

    With a research-based approach that emphasizes building protective factors and strengthening families, Illuminate Colorado addresses systemic and multi-sector issues by working across the Spectrum of Prevention. Our year-round programs and services operate upstream and downstream, spanning the Continuum of Prevention.


    Launching a New Community

    To support this work year-round, we’re launching a new community of passionate supporters – the Luminaries!

    When you become a Luminary by pledging to donate monthly, you will join a community of supporters providing a stable foundation for Illuminate Colorado’s work strengthening families, organizations and communities to prevent child maltreatment.

    To help us get this new community off to a STRONG START, and in honor of Child Abuse Prevention Month, the Brenda and Raymond French family will donate $100 for every new Luminary pledge made through the end of April.

    This means you could add $100 to your donation just by giving BEFORE May 1st!

    As a Luminary, you’ll get all sorts of perks!

    •       You get access to exclusive events. We already have several lunch & learns scheduled!
    •       You will receive regular updates from the executive director.
    •       We’ll send you a free bouquet of Pinwheels for you to display if you become a Luminary before the end of April!
    •       And more!

    We’re so excited about this growing community and are looking forward to having you as a partner in the amazing work that we get to do.

    Join us and help build brighter childhoods in Colorado by becoming a Luminary today.

    Investing in Children and Families this April

    Investing in Children and Families this April

    Policymakers have the opportunity to ensure our state continues to invest in our communities to strengthen families through our state budget and through federal stimulus funding next month.

    Responding to immediate needs of families is crucial during this pandemic, and funding prevention work is important now more than ever. A CDC study estimated that the number of confirmed child maltreatment cases occurring in a one year period results in $124 billion in lifetime costs (such as child welfare, health care, criminal justice, and special education costs, as well as lost economic productivity). The prevention of child maltreatment has the potential to save the state billions of dollars in lifetime associated costs. 

    The state legislature’s Joint Budget Committee (JBC) recently finalized the state’s FY21-22 budget for introduction and approval by the state Senate and House. The budget is scheduled to start the legislative process on April 5th in the Senate. It is expected to move to the House on April 12th. Following the conclusion of the traditional budget process, the JBC is expected to begin work on allocating the state’s portion of federal stimulus dollars from the American Rescue Plan. 

    The State of Colorado and our local governments including cities and counties are expected to receive billions of dollars from the 2021 American Rescue Plan. This provides our state with a unique opportunity to invest in the areas that have been hit the hardest by the crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and to build back stronger by making economic investments that will benefit Colorado for generations to come. In an effort to better understand the needs and current economic challenges facing our state, Governor Polis, state legislators from both sides of the aisle and the Treasurer’s Office are asking for broader feedback.

    Because of the impacts of COVID-19 on our communities and families, Colorado needs to prioritize practical existing investments in child maltreatment prevention in order to remain one of the healthiest economies in the country.

    Prevention investments include:

    • Critical family services that builds protective factors and prevents child maltreatment such as: 
      • Family resource centers
      • Home visiting programs 
      • Child care 
      • Housing stability and rental support
      • Food access resources
      • Positive youth programming
      • Integrated physical and behavioral health care services for all family members including family planning, prenatal and postpartum care, and pediatric care 
    • Tailored substance use disorder treatment and children’s services for families impacted by substance use
    • Community and professional education around healthy child development

    Make Your Voice Heard

    To guide how Colorado invests the stimulus money, our state leaders need to hear from us.

    RSVP to a listening session below, or submit written feedback here


    Regional Listening Sessions

    • Denver Metro North: Thursday April 1st, 6pm RSVP
    • Four Corners: Saturday April 3rd, 9:30am RSVP
    • Denver Metro South: Saturday April 3rd, 4pm RSVP 
    • Colorado Springs: Monday April 5th, 6pm RSVP
    • Eastern Plains: Wednesday April 7th, 6pm RSVP

    Special Sector Listening Sessions

    African American Community: Wednesday March 31st, 6pm-7pm RSVP

    Environment, Clean Energy & Conservation: Friday April 2nd, 3pm RSVP

    Quality of Life: Monday April 5th, 11am-12pm RSVP


    Local Governments:  Monday April 5th, 1pm RSVP 

    Workforce: Tuesday April 6th, 1:30pm-2:30pm RSVP

    Latino Community: Tuesday April 6th, 6pm RSVP

    Rural & Agriculture: Wednesday April 7th, 1pm RSVP 

    Healthcare, Human Services & Behavioral Health: Thursday April 8, 1pm RSVP 

    Asian American and Pacific Islander Community: Thursday April 8th, 6pm RSVP 

    Chambers of Commerce & Economic Development Councils: Friday April 9th, 1pm RSVP 

    There are no upcoming events at this time.

    One in Three Families Need Help Meeting Their Diaper Needs

    One in Three Families Need Help Meeting Their Diaper Needs

    Just as a vehicle can only bear so much weight before it stops moving forward, challenging life circumstances can overburden parents, making it hard for them to provide the best kinds of care and support. To prevent a breakdown in care, community organizations and neighbors can keep the heaviest loads from weighing families down. Legislation and investment through Senate Bill 21-27 Emergency Supplies for Colorado Babies and Families will help make that possible.

    Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, one in three families reported needing more diapers. With increased unemployment due to the pandemic, the need likely continues even higher. Ensuring families have access to diapers supports multiple Protective Factors, including concrete support and parental resilience. Illuminate Colorado is proud to join over 70 organizations in support of Senate Bill 21-27. The bill would provide $2 million in funding in both 2021 and 2022 for nonprofit distribution centers to purchase and provide diapering essentials (diapers, wipes, and diaper creams) to low-income families across the state.

    Parents report reusing disposable diapers and using plastic bags or toilet paper when they run out of money for diapers. These “alternatives” lead to painful rashes and health complications, potentially causing infants and toddlers to become more fussy and more likely to cry. Increased infant crying has been found to be associated with increased rates of abusive head trauma, the leading cause of physical child abuse. An adequate supply of diapers is a tangible way of reducing parenting stress, a critical factor influencing child health and development. SB21-27 will support Colorado families’ health and economic security.

    According to the National Diaper Bank Network, it costs at least $80 per month to diaper a child. SB21-27 is especially cost-effective as the diapering supplies would be purchased in bulk. While some families may have resources to drive to a warehouse club or supermarket to buy diapers in bulk, some families located in resource deserts may be limited to convenience stores where diapers come in smaller packages with a much higher average price per diaper. This bill will increase financial security of families, as well as support child care access because families are typically required to supply eight disposable diapers a day for their child to attend child care.

    Interested in Supporting SB21-27

    Here’s how to take action:


    Review the 2021 Policy Agenda

    Download the 2021 Illuminating Policy Agenda with key highlighting specific protective factors each policy builds in Colorado.


    Use the Illuminate Colorado Bill Tracker to stay up to date on legislation in Colorado strengthening families, including Senate Bill 21-27 Emergency Supplies for Colorado Babies and Families. 

    Behavioral Health Supports for Families Are Important Now More Than Ever

    Behavioral Health Supports for Families Are Important Now More Than Ever

    Now more than ever, we all face challenges in our lives where we could use extra support. When families have access to behavioral health resources to meet their needs, we strengthen the foundation for families and communities to thrive.

    When the demands of raising children are also paired with the challenge of finding behavioral health supports, it can stand in the way of strengthening families. These behavioral health resources and supports were needed before, and are especially needed now doubled with the social isolation and increased financial stressors associated with the pandemic. According to a June 2020 study, 13.3% of U.S. adults surveyed reported starting or increasing substance use to cope with pandemic-related stress or emotions, and 30.9% of U.S. adults surveyed reported experiencing increases in anxiety or depressive disorders. 

    Illuminate is supporting and monitoring several bills that are progressing through the state legislature to expand substance use disorder treatment and support options for Coloradans:

    SB21-137 Behavioral Health Recovery Act

    This bill employs a variety of strategies to strengthen Colorado’s behavioral health system and prepare our state to provide timely, adequate, and high-quality care for individuals who need enhanced support as a result of COVID-19. The bill will specifically support maternal behavioral health and child development by increasing perinatal depression screens, continuing a maternal and child health pilot program, and expanding the perinatal substance use data linkage project.

    HB21-1021 Peer Support Professionals Behavioral Health

    Simply put, expanding peer supports for people in recovery from mental health and substance use conditions is good for Colorado families. Children do well when their parents do well, and treating parental behavioral health–including through the support of peers–is crucial to supporting child development and parenting. Through the support of peers, parents can build both their own resilience and social connections–both of which are protective factors that lower the risk of child abuse and neglect.

    HB21-1130 Expand Transition Specialist Program

    The Transition Specialist Program was created a few years ago in order to connect high-risk individuals with housing, program placement, access to behavioral health treatment or benefits, advocacy, and other supportive services. The program has been underutilized due to narrow eligibility requirements, so this bill will expand eligibility utilizing existing funding to ensure 60-100 additional Coloradans get access to these critical services each year.

    HB21-1097 Establish Behavioral Health Administration

    The Behavioral Health Administration (BHA) would be a single state agency to lead, promote, and administer the state’s behavioral health priorities. If you’d like to contribute to inform solutions on how the BHA can best meet the needs of stakeholders and Coloradans, please register for one of the opportunities below:

    • Virtual Community Open Forum: Open to all to join!
      Thursday, March 18, 2021  /  10:30 am – 12:00 pm MST
      Click here to register for the virtual forum

    • Virtual Community Open Forum: Open to individuals, peers and family members with behavioral health lived experience.
      Wednesday, March 24, 2021  /  3:45 pm – 5:00 pm MST
      Click here to register for the virtual forum
    • Can’t attend the virtual forum? HMA still wants to hear from you!
      Complete the following short survey to share your thoughts.
      Click here to take the stakeholder survey

    Working together to ensure families have access to behavioral health resources to meet their needs, we will strengthen the foundation for Colorado families and communities to thrive. Use the Illuminate Colorado Bill Tracker to stay up to date on the progression of bills this session related to strengthening families–including the bill mentioned above.

    Pin It on Pinterest