Family Resilience Fair looking for organizations to participate

The sixth annual Family Resilience Fair will bring games, prizes and educational resources to the community on Oct. 14 at the Nolan Center. BRAVE Wrangell, a domestic violence prevention organization whose name stands for Building Respect and Valuing Everyone, is organizing the event.

Since the fair is a little over a month away, BRAVE is seeking community organizations to get involved, specifically those that support families, explained member Kay Larsen.

“School groups, faith communities, health-related agencies … anything with a special focus or emphasis on children and families” would be a good fit for the fair and should consider setting up a booth, she said.

Preventing domestic violence starts with building connections between community members and ensuring that people know about the resources that are available. This task can be uniquely tricky on an island, where many services don’t have a brick-and-mortar location in town.

“Wrangell is served by so many organizations that aren’t located in the community,” explained Maleah Nore, a volunteer with BRAVE. “There are a lot of services that are provided by, say, SEARHC or the University of Alaska … that you might not be familiar with because they don’t have an office downtown or something. It’s also nice to put a friendly face on the things that you’re interested in.”

Children, parents, aunts, uncles, elders, parents of “fur babies” and “everyone and anyone” are encouraged to attend, said Nore. Though domestic violence prevention is a serious task, organizers plan to bring a healthy dose of fun to the fair. Each booth is encouraged to set up an activity of some kind, like a prize wheel or an oversized game of connect four.

In past years, when she’s had the chance to attend, Nore’s favorite things about the fair have been the chance to socialize and the opportunity to learn new things. Though she prides herself on staying abreast of family resources in Southeast, she is always surprised by new programs she didn’t know about.

“It is a resilience-oriented fair, but you show up and it really is just a fun time,” she said.

The organization will also celebrate any new babies that were born to Wrangell families over the past year.

BRAVE is still in the early planning stages of the fair, but some programs have already committed to setting up booths, like Community Roots, a group for members of the LGBTQ community and allies. Planning will continue at the upcoming BRAVE meeting Sept. 2 at 2 p.m. in the library.

“We’re trying to make sure that folks are aware of what resources and support are available so that regardless of what … hardship they might be going through they’re not going through it alone,” said Nore. “The more connected people are, the less at risk they are for any type or violence or illness, you name it.”


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