By Lyndsie Kiebert
When it comes to causes worth rallying around, there’s no doubt finding homes for all of North Idaho’s children is somewhere near the top of the list.
The first ever Neighborhood Nights event at Matchwood Brewing, slated for April 25, tackles topics like adoption, fostering and more, all in an effort to connect community members who want to help local children in need of a family.
Troy Olson, creator of DiscoverFamily.net and adoptive father of four, said he worked closely with Matchwood to get the adoption event on their calendar. DiscoverFamily.net is a genealogy service through which Olson helps adoptees and others search for their biological family members.
Olson said the night’s presentations will be useful for connecting adoptive families to one another to share experiences, and will also educate people who are “adoption curious” — interested in adoption, but not sure exactly what the process might look like.
“My wife and I have adopted four kiddos through foster to adopt and have found that the best resource for us is connections with others going through the same adventures (and) challenges,” he said.
The night will also provide information on Court Appointed Special Advocates or fostering, which are options for those “who want to know how they can help at-risk children without jumping completely into adoption,” Olson said.
“There is a very significant need for foster parents and CASA volunteers in our area, so inviting these organizations seemed like a great fit,” he said.
Check out Neighborhood Nights Thursday, April 25, at Matchwood starting at 6 p.m. Jeannine Hunter will kick off the evening with a presentation about addressing trauma in children, then CASA representatives will talk about their organization at 6:45 p.m. Olson will present on “The Search for Biological Parents” at 7:10 p.m., and the evening will conclude with a Q&A networking session at 7:30 p.m.
The event is open-house style, so people are free to come and go as they please, and children are welcome. Though the event is free, you can guarantee a seat at each presentation by registering online. Find the Eventbrite link on the event’s Facebook page: “Neighborhood Nights: Adoptive Families” hosted by Matchwood, North Idaho CASA and DiscoverFamily.net.
Matchwood Community Coordinator Sami Ryan said Neighborhood Nights will be a monthly occurrence at the brewery, and their purpose is “to bring together neighbors and community members connected through different experiences.”
The next event — topic TBA — will be 6-8 p.m. on Wednesday, May 29. Stay tuned for more Neighborhood Nights information by following Matchwood Brewing on Facebook.
Anyone with an idea for future Neighborhood Nights topics should email Ryan at [email protected]
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