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New Initiative: National Marriage Week USA--Feb 7-14

Announcing a New Initiative for National Marriage Week USA--February 7 to 14, 2010: To encourage marriage, reduce divorce rates, curtail poverty, and benefit children

Contact: Sheila Weber, 646-322-6853

NEW YORK, Jan. 25 /Christian Newswire/ -- National Marriage Week USA announces a new initiative for the week leading up to Valentine's Day 2010, and is putting forth a call to mobilize hundreds of diverse organizations to plan and prepare for awareness and activities for February 7 to 14, 2010. The goal is to elevate national attention on the need to strengthen marriage and ways to do it, and initiate new efforts to reduce the divorce rate and build a stronger marriage culture which in turn helps curtail poverty and benefits children.

National Marriage Week has long been an organized celebration in the UK, Germany, Ireland, Australia, the Czech Republic, and elsewhere internationally (www.marriage-weekinternational.org) with large rallies, resolutions and celebrations in Parliaments, concerted efforts for marriage education, and more. Marriage Week was brought to the U.S. by Smart Marriages in 2002. For 2010 a new initiative is being launched by National Marriage Week USA (NMWUSA) in an effort to focus solely on February 7 to 14 with an interactive website and coordination of national efforts at www.NationalMarriageWeekUSA.org.

Chuck Stetson, chairman of National Marriage Week USA says "The alarming drop in marriage rates in America combined with high divorce rates are costly to the nation--financially costly to taxpayers and individuals, and emotionally costly to children. Marriage breakdown costs taxpayers $112 billion a year. The nation needs to pay attention."

"Marriage works," says NMWUSA executive director Sheila Weber. "Research shows that marriage makes people happier, live longer, and build more economic security. Children with married parents perform better in school. There are proven ways to repair and restore marriages--but most folks don't know where to go to get the help they need."

Alarming new facts are in. The first-ever Marriage Index, recently released jointly by the National Center on African American Marriages and Parenting (NCAAMP) and the Institute for American Values in October 2009, reveals a huge decline in national marriage indicators. One indicator shows 79 percent of adults were married in 1970, while only 57 percent of adults were married in 2008. Another indicator shows 40 percent of all children in America are now born out of wedlock; and 72 percent of African American children are now born without married parents.

"I am excited about the efforts of National Marriage Week USA to pull together business, government, and religious organizations to draw attention to solutions to the current problems created by divorce," said marriage expert Gary Chapman, best-selling author of 'Five Love Languages.' "If we can help couples learn how to create loving, supportive marriages, it will not only bring marital satisfaction, but will enrich the lives of children, and create a more productive society. Every couple can contribute to the solution. It begins by reading books, attending classes, and having productive communication with your own spouse. National Marriage Week USA offers multiple resources to help you," said Chapman.

The "Let's Strengthen Marriage" Campaign in early 2010 held a global webinar with Chuck Colson and other leaders, (www.marriagewebinar.org) which is archived for continued viewing. Participants are growing daily. Posting of Events all around the country is now growing at www.nationalmarriageweekusa.org/events/ and you can "Read What Others Are Doing" at www.nationalmarriageweekusa.org/testimony/.  

Ways to get involved with National Marriage Week USA include:

• Churches are encouraged to launch new marriage classes, sermon series, or host a major weekend marriage conference,

• Clergy can form Community Marriage Policies with all the clergy in their town (cities with CMPs have lowered divorce rates),

• Mayoral or Statewide Proclamations are available for National Marriage Week USA,

• Businesses can create and distribute pocket-sized pamphlets on topics such as "What is a Healthy Marriage?"

• Screenings of special marriage education DVDs or marriage related movies,

• Use of the National Marriage Week USA logo for local ads and activities,

• Schools can sponsor assemblies on healthy relationship skills.

• Most importantly, folks are encouraged to work on their own marriage--with lots of ideas and resources for where to go for help at www.nationalmarriageweekUSA.org.