He is a tall lanky kid who looks older than his actual age. In his eyes you can see he is being tentative, still not sure of whether he should trust anyone yet. Slowly the abrupt behavior and reluctance to be engaged lessens. He begins selectively to tell his story, happy to break the intensity with a ride on his skateboard. His social worker sits back and patiently waits for his return and the treatment process to advance, the pace set by him.
Treatment of youngsters who have been traumatized by disappointment and tragedy can be slow, but well worth the patience and perseverance required when the end result is a childhood restored. This is what Hillsides is all about–to serve as a resource for children and families that allows for hurt to be addressed and a pathway to a fuller life identified.
As we approached our centennial year, Hillsides began the process of examining how we communicate who we are, what we do, and how we make a difference. As much as things have changed in 100 years, some things remain constant– the commitment to high quality care, innovation, and advocacy. And so the task was to select an icon, a symbol, a mark that would convey our role as caregivers who make a lasting impact on the lives of all we serve, like the young resident mentioned earlier.
Many different logos were considered, all of them taking into account what we wished to communicate. When we considered the pinwheel there was an immediate, unanimous agreement that this symbol would serve well to convey what we are all about.
A familiar object associated with the carefree nature of childhood, pinwheels are recognized across generations and within many different cultures. As a toy, it never-the-less teaches a child about the ability to harness the energy of the wind to create movement and momentum. In and of itself, it is simple but intricate. When engaged, the pinwheel comes to life and can be so satisfying. It is a transformational object that reflects life fully enjoyed. In some cultures, it is a symbol of how obstacles can be turned into opportunities. For us, it seemed clear that there was no better symbol to reflect who we are, what we do, and how we impact lives.
Like all logos, it is effective only to the extent that it truly captures the essence of who we are; an organization dedicated to creating lasting change. The impact we make is not achieved by a marketing and communications campaign. The impact we make is the result of the extraordinary care of so many, staff and volunteers alike, who are clearly driven by a mission to create lasting change in the lives of all we serve.