Strong Families Are at the Center of Strong Communities

NEWS RELEASE

Strong Families Are at the Center of Strong Communities
National Family Week Set for November 21-27, 2004

During Thanksgiving week, thousands of people across the United States will celebrate the connections they have with their families and communities during National Family Week.

National Family Week: Connections Count embraces the premise that children live better lives when their families are strong, and families are strong when they live in communities that connect them to economic opportunities, social networks, and services. These "connections" celebrated during National Family Week include access to reliable transportation, employment opportunities, education, child care, housing, health care, and support from community networks and institutions.

"Ordinary families are extraordinarily important to our communities and our country," says Roy L. Williams, Chief Scout Executive of the Boy Scouts of America. "When America's diverse families and children are healthy, our nation prospers. That's why we hope everyone will take time during National Family Week to honor the connections that support and strengthen families year-round. Let's recognize the value of families, as well as the importance of family values."

Sam Wiley, who was a teacher and administrator in Indianapolis, founded National Family Week in 1968. The Alliance for Children and Families, based in Milwaukee, has organized National Family Week efforts for more than 30 years. The alliance and its member organizations across the country, including the Boy Scouts of America, are coordinating activities on local and national levels to encourage people to celebrate their connections within the community and the family.

The ideas below are ways to celebrate National Family Week:

  • Extend your family. Plan a "family supper" with neighbors or help in a neighborhood improvement effort.
  • Adopt a military family. Send a thank-you note to a person in the service and lend your support to his or her family.
  • Select an issue that's important to your family, and work with local officials to effect change.
  • Plan a "family summit" and invite area leaders and residents to discuss issues important to the community.

Visit www.nationalfamilyweek.org or call 800-221-2681 to learn more about National Family Week and get helpful hints for making Connections Count.

National Family Week: Connections Count is made possible through the work of the Alliance for Children and Families and the generous support of the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

About the Alliance for Children and Families
The Alliance for Children and Families is a nonprofit membership association representing child- and family-serving organizations in North America. Member organizations provide an array of community-based programs and services to all generations, and serve close to eight million people each year in more than 6,700 communities. Motivated by a vision of a healthy society and strong communities, the alliance's mission is to strengthen the capacities of North America's nonprofit child- and family-serving organizations to serve and to advocate children, families, and communities.
About the Annie E. Casey Foundation
The Annie E. Casey Foundation works to build better futures for disadvantaged children and their families in the United States. Its mission is to foster public policies, human service reforms, and community support that more effectively meet the needs of today's vulnerable children and families. The foundation provides grants to public and nonprofit organizations to strengthen the support services, social networks, physical infrastructure, employment, self-determination, and economic vitality of distressed communities. For more information, visit www.aecf.org.

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