Residents in Ottawa, Streator and Marseilles are seeing more blue this month.
The Youth Service Bureau has started its annual Blue Ribbon Campaign, which includes tying blue ribbons on trees and lampposts in an effort to bring attention to National Child Abuse Prevention Month in April.
The Youth Service Bureau of Illinois Valley believes that all children should grow up surrounded with love in a nurturing family. They believe the entire community is essential to making sure children are safe and have opportunities to develop and reach their full potential.
As such, they encourage residents to tie a blue ribbon in their yard to join the effort.
They also are encouraging residents to plant a pinwheel garden, similar to the blue pinwheel garden that is planted in front of the Ottawa office, and email a picture or share it on social media.
They are asking businesses to place a basket of Blue Ribbon lapel pins on their counter, in employee break rooms or other community spaces to collect donations.
Many bars and other businesses sell a 5x7 cardstock blue ribbon to customers who write their name on the ribbon and the business displays them throughout the month. YSB will have a limited number of larger blue ribbon yard signs for sale for $10.
In fiscal year 2017, YSB served a total of 3,578 youth and families. Of that number, there were 901 children in foster care and 229 Intact and Intensive Placement Stabilization youth and their families.
YSB reminds residents that if they see something suspicious they should call 1-800-25-ABUSE to report suspected child abuse or call the local police department in case of emergency.
For more information on YSB services, visit ysbiv.org.
You can also follow them on Facebook at fb.com/Youth-Service-Bureau-of-Illinois-Valley-333353274298.
They are also on Instagram, ysbiv17, and Twitter, @YSBofILValley.
If you know someone who needs their help, call 815-433-3953.