National Resource Center for Healthy Marriage and Families
Issue 26
January 2015

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.

Best regards,

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.

Featured Resources

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 research materials.

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 events include:

  • 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 conference.

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

The National Resource Center for Healthy Marriage and Families supports safety-net 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.

Subscribe | Unsubscribe

Funding for this project was provided by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Grant: 90FH0002. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families.