National Family Week 2011 Celebrates, Supports Military Families

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The Alliance for Children and Families has designated its annual National Family Week observance, Nov. 20-26, 2011, as a time to pay tribute to military families and the organizations that support and strengthen them.

The Alliance for Children and Families has designated its annual National Family Week observance, Nov. 20-26, 2011, as a time to pay tribute to military families and the organizations that support and strengthen them. This coincides with November being Military Family Month.

National Family Week has been annually promoted by the Alliance, a national nonprofit membership organization for private human service providers, for more than 40 years.

During this year’s National Family Week, Nov. 20-26, the Alliance encourages organizations and communities to build awareness of the unique challenges faced by military families; the local networks of support for the servicemen and servicewomen, their spouses, and children; and the programs and resources that meet the needs of military families.

Observed each year during the week of Thanksgiving, National Family Week is designed to build community connections and honor those who strengthen families. This year is the first time the Alliance has suggested National Family Week be a time to pay tribute to military families.

For National Family Week observations, the Alliance offers a detailed planning toolkit and a list of resources for working with military families on the its website at alliance1.org. The Alliance also encourages organizations to look for volunteer opportunities and other information on the Corporation for National and Community Service website at serve.gov/vets.asp.

For many years, National Family Week has been a time to celebrate all families and bolster the chances of success for children, families, and communities. Despite a theme of supporting military families in 2011, organizations can choose to observe National Family Week without utilizing the theme. The Alliance toolkit at alliance1.org offers general suggestions and tips.

Sam Wiley, who was a teacher and administrator in Indianapolis, founded National Family Week in 1968. The Alliance partnered with Wiley around 1970 to promote the celebration among its members and the human services field.

The Alliance for Children and Families, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2011, is a nonprofit national membership association of private, nonprofit human service providers in the United States and Canada. The nearly 350 members of the Alliance provide an array of community-based programs and services to all generations, serving close to 3.4 million people each year. The Alliance is accredited by the Council on Accreditation. More information about the Alliance is available at alliance1.org.

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