15 Dec It Takes Heart, Sweat, Tears and Time
It Takes Heart, Sweat, Tears and Time
Recently a group of college students was asked, “How many of you are planning to go home for the holidays?”Virtually every hand flew into the air. Then they were asked, “Why? Why do you want to go home?” After a thoughtful pause, some answered, “That’s where I have a sense of belonging.” Others said, “My family accepts me for who I am.” One just wept and said, “That’s where the deepest feelings of my heart and soul are. I am them, and they are me.”
As Christmas approaches, all hearts turn towards home and family. As any father or mother can tell you, building a strong family takes heart, sweat, tears, time, and prayers, sacrifice, more prayers, and more time.
So does protecting and strengthening the Family in today’s world!
The heart, sweat, tears, time, prayers, and sacrifice freely given in the work of United Families comes from the most dedicated group of pro-family advocates,interns, volunteers, friends and family one could ever ask for.
Two weeks ago, it was my pleasure to share with you five significant milestonesUFI experienced during 2015 – and I am equally as excited today to share the remaining five for 2015. Truly this has been one of the most significant years since UFI was founded in 1978. Take a look:
1. Further Global Outreach – In 2015 UFI has opened chapters in South Korea and Western Europe, and is actively pursuing chapters and coalitions in Africa, Australia, Hungary and Hong Kong. One of our UFI staff members also spent five days in Qatar with the Doha International Family Institute presenting on policies that impact Arab family formation. Groups, couples and individuals who are deeply concerned with the state of affairs with the family are reaching out to us in significant ways. They want to learn from our years of experience the best ways to affect attitudes, policy and law in their nation and region.
2. IVY site re-launch – UFI’s outreach to the Millennial Generation, the International Voice for Youth, has long desired a more modern website that would facilitate greater dialogue between younger champions of the family. InternationalVoiceforYouth.org re-launched in October with a new look and feel, and many new features on the way to help this group of family advocates speak together, speak up and speak out.
3. UFI site revamp – The United Families website has been very functional for years, but there is new technology available today that we can only take advantage of with a new site. Thanks to the generous help from donors, the work of Sebo Marketing, and the behind the scenes shepherding from UFI leaders, a new UFI site will go live early next year.
4. The “Utah Miracle” – UFI supported and helped pass what has been called the “Utah Miracle” – a law that significantly reinforces religious liberties in Utah while also codifying protections in housing and labor for LGBT citizens. We felt this was a reasonable solution to a vexing public policy issue and while not perfect, gave both groups desired protections.
5. Legislative work in Idaho, Arizona and Utah since sessions ended. Since the legislative sessions ended in Idaho, Arizona and Utah, UFI has been very active in bringing legislators together – along with policy experts – to discuss possible legislation that would shore up religious liberty protections which is the cornerstone in protecting the family.
Each of these accomplishments can be traced back to your overwhelming generosity by sharing of your resources to achieve our mission. Without your financial support our work would go silent – but with it, we are making more and more of an impact worldwide.
Can we count on your support for 2016 as well? We will use the resources provided prudently and thoughtfully as we continue to further this cause we all love so deeply. There is only one paid staff member at UFI – our wonderful part-time bookkeeper. All the rest of us donate our time, talents and funds because we feel called to this work and know it is even more vital now than it was when UFI started back in 1978.
Thank you again for your support in 2015. We look forward to once more standing with you in 2016.
Robert F. Spiel
Chairman, United Families International
Take a few minutes to look at all the tools United Families has available to help you in your efforts to protect the family and strengthen your own: