Project Zero hosted the first event of its kind in Northwest Arkansas. 21 kids played at the Amazeum in Bentonville hoping to connect with an adoptive family.

“This event is all about these kids. It’s all about ensuring that these kids have the ability to have a forever family… We bring the kids in here and we bring some open homes and families here to make sure that these kids have, in a safe environment, the ability to have fun, to have a good time, but yet in the same way interact with families that are potentially open homes,” said Lisa Riley with Project Zero.

There are more than 500 kids in foster care from Washington, Benton, Carroll and Madison Counties. In those four counties, there are only 200 foster homes.

“We need more families that would commit to these kids long term and give them permanency,” said Ritchie McFarland, DHS Adoption Supervisor.

“Every child deserves a home. Every child deserves a family,” said Riley.

Event organizers have witnessed what it means to a child to land in their forever home. They want to see that outcome for every child in Arkansas, but they need more families to open their homes.

“We’ve seen many times in those adoption hearings and kids that have waited for a very long time and how excited they are that they are adopted and they have a mom and a dad that is able to be able to provide a lifelong connection for them,” said McFarland.

Every child left the event with a backpack full of supplies and $30 to spend in the Amazeum souvenir shop. If you are interested in opening up your home to local kids in need, contact the Community Engagement Specialist, Kristy Franks, at (479) 236-1613.