Local pageant girl raising awareness for National Child Abuse Prevention Month

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EAST SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — For the past year, it’s been nothing but pageant gowns and tiaras for 9-year-old Rosalie Jandolenko of East Syracuse. Her love for competing has also united her with a community of sisters, all working together to give back.

“So February we made cards for the seniors and in March we made little baggies, little sock baggies for women in the military,” Jandolenko said.

This month this girls are making blankets in support of National Child Abuse Prevention Month and Jendolenko is donating hers to the McMahon Ryan Child Advocacy Center.

“When a kid comes in and they have to tell their story, when they leave we want them to leave with some type of comforting thought, a good thought,” Executive Director, Colleen Merced said. “The teddy bear is something they can hold onto and be comforted by and the blanket as well.”

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Advocacy Center has seen a slight decrease in the number of cases reported. They say it’s because many children aren’t in schools, where most of the kids feel comfortable speaking out about their abuse. 

“The interesting part was come January when kids were starting to go back into schools and starting to do a lot of hybrid. You’ll see those statistics at the center continue to rise now.” Merced said. 

Jandolenko is hoping her blankets can give kids the comfort they need. 

“It makes me feel happy because like I want to make people feel better about themselves and like I wanna do something kind to give back,” she said.

If you want to get involved with Child Abuse Prevention Month, the Advocacy Center is hosting it’s annual Pinwheel Ball on April 24. You can also participate in the Step Up 4 Kids 5K anytime throughout the month of April. To sign up for either event click here

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