Pinwheels signal winds of change at Zahra Baker playground

Pinwheels signal winds of change at Zahra Baker playground

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by MICHELLE BOUDIN / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @MichelleBoudin

WCNC.com

Posted on April 2, 2013 at 6:17 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 16 at 2:13 PM

HICKORY, N.C. -- A community in healing comes together to help fight child abuse.

People in Hickory planted hundreds of pinwheels at the Zahra Baker playground and there's an important reason why.
 
There was a slight breeze Tuesday at the Zahra Baker playground, perfect for making a pinwheel go.

“They just sort of remind you the sun is reflecting up so it’s going to get better,” said 11-year-old Emma Salyards.

This is a community still trying to get better.

“I think it was Zahra Baker ‘cause it was so horrible to see that happen. Everyone thinks when they see something bad happen, oh that can’t happen here, but it did and I think that’s what brought everyone into a reality check that we need to do something about it,” the young girl said.

Emma knows the story well.

“Yeah, I mean she was so close to my age which made it really hard to think about.”

Another little girl, Zahra Baker, the freckle-faced 10-year-old who lost a leg to cancer and captured the attention of the world in October 2010 when she was reported missing. She'd suffered years of abuse and was ultimately murdered.

“She was treated so horribly, but like that man said, she’s smiling down on us thinking I may have been treated horribly but God is helping turn it into something good.”

That something good is the playground built and named in her honor, which today, is covered in pinwheels.

“Yeah, I've never seen that many pinwheels before and I think it’s really cool to see how they go up the hill and they spread all around.”

Spreading awareness about preventing child abuse.

“Yeah, it keeps them turning and keep life going on and it helps make sure that things are gonna get better, child abuse is eventually going to end.”

Wise words from an 11-year-old convinced the winds of change are already working.

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