Fear, anger, confusion — these are just some of the emotions kids report feeling when their parents are divorcing.
Linn County is home to the only organization in Iowa designed to help these kids deal with those feelings. It’s a non-profit known as Kids First Law Center.
Thursday night, Kids First is holding their annual “Happy Hour” fundraiser at CSPS Hall in the NewBo neighborhood. Jenny Schulz, Executive Director of Kids First Law Center, says the more money they raise, the more kids they can help.
The fundraiser is free to attend, but they encourage people to bid big of any one of their 60 live and silent auction items. Their goal is to top last year, when they raised about $20,000 which is a little less than 10 percent of their budget. Kids First relies entirely on donations and grants to help children cope with divorce.
”A lot of kids go through the experience of divorce alone and we forget as adults how traumatic divorce can be for kids because it’s so common in our culture, but it is one of the most traumatic things that can happen in their childhood,” said Schulz.
Kids First provides court mandated educational workshops to every child of divorce in the county, which is about 400 a year. They also represent kids in highly contentious divorce cases. Artwork created by children with their definition of divorce will be on display at the fundraiser.
The Kids First Happy Hour fundraiser is from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday night. There will be free appetizers and drinks until 6 p.m. courtesy of United Fire Group.