National Resource Center for Healthy Marriage and Families
The Director's Corner
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., one of the most notable leaders
of modern American history, often spoke of peace, love, unity, equality
and justice. During the commencement speech at Oberlin College in June
of 1965, Dr. King said, "Whatever affects one directly, affects all
indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you
ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality." 50 years
later, these words are still true. Issues like poverty, unemployment,
substance abuse, etc. don't just affect an individual, they affect the
family and the community. With this spirit, many choose to honor Dr.
King's legacy by celebrating his birthday as a Day of Service,
organizing community volunteer events or other acts of service to
address the needs of others. Not only does volunteering in your
community benefit others, volunteering also strengthens
families by building a positive social network, a key concept for
maintaining healthy relationships, as discussed in Strong Relationships, Strong Families.
I hope the tips and resources below will encourage you and the families
you serve to think of creative ways to strengthen your own families
while serving others.
Robyn Cenizal, Project Director
Tip of the Month
Your monthly tip to strengthen the relationships of those you serve. Share it - Post it - Pass it on!
Strong Relationships, Strong Families
discusses the importance of a positive social network. Couples live
within the context of a larger community of relationships. These
connections within the larger community can strongly aid in supporting
and sustaining a couple's relationship over time. Here are some tips
from chapter 7:
- Opportunities to provide service to others can be informal
within your circle of friends or neighbors-from transportation,
babysitting, and house repairs to taking turns laughing with, caring
for, or helping out someone who's elderly, sick or just had a baby.
- Inquire about local volunteer opportunities at service agencies,
neighborhood associations, religious institutions, or not-for-profit
organizations. Consider serving meals at homeless shelters or staffing a
USO Center for traveling military personnel at your local airport.
- Include children in volunteer activities. Volunteering teaches
responsibility and empathy. Youth who volunteer are more likely to
volunteer as adults.
The Resource Center's Virtual Library
has collected more than 800 materials in a variety of formats
including fact sheets, research-to-practice briefs, brochures,
pamphlets, training resources, program reports or evaluations, and
Select the links below to view our featured January resources:
The Resource Center's Events Calendar
offers a listing of Resource Center events and other national,
regional, and community-wide events that might be of interest. Upcoming
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service January 19, 2014:
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "Life's most persistent and
urgent question is: 'What are you doing for others?'" Each year,
Americans across the country answer that question by coming together on
the King Holiday to serve their neighbors and communities. The MLK Day
of Service is a part of United We Serve,
the President's national call to service initiative. It calls for
Americans from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions
to our most pressing national problems.
- 2015 National Conference on Ending Family and Youth Homelessness in San Diego, CA, February 19-20, 2014:
The Conference will focus on strategies to end family and youth
homelessness, including rapid re-housing and family intervention, as
well as the development of a crisis response system and coordinated
entry process, retooling transitional housing, the role of mainstream
programs, and federal policy goals for Congress. Attendees and speakers
will include national experts on family and youth homelessness. Come to
San Diego, CA this February to learn about what is working, share your
successes, and meet others who are diligently working to end
homelessness in America. The Resource Center will be exhibiting at this
Feedback and Technical Assistance:
If you have suggestions or wish to speak with a Resource Center staff member, please
contact us and we will be happy to assist you. If you would like to
request Technical Assistance, please submit a Training and Technical Assistance
Request Form and our Technical Assistance Coordinator will contact you.
To learn more about the Resource Center visit us at www.healthymarriageandfamilies.org
The National Resource Center for Healthy Marriage and Families
service providers as they integrate healthy marriage and relationship
education skills into service delivery systems as part of a
comprehensive, culturally appropriate, family-centered approach designed
to promote self-sufficiency.