Suzanne Vargus Holloman, Co-Director of the Family Reunion Institute has announced the organization’s name change. “I’m excited to announce our name change to the National Family Reunion Institute (NFRI). We have always been national in scope and the name change reflects that. Our commitment to family reunions and family reunion planners remains our highest priority. As part of this name change, NFRI has adopted a new logo that emphasizes our dedication to family reunions. Our tax status has changed as well. We are now a tax exempt non-profit, and all donations are tax deductible. Donations represent an opportunity to do more for family reunions. Individuals and organizations desiring to support the Institute’s programs that build on the strengths of families, using reunions as the tool, are able to make a donations on the website."
We believe reunions have the power to nourish and strengthen families of all races and ethnicities. Reunions can encourage healthy extended family relationships, provide a sense of belonging, restore family pride, nurture and respect all generations, and impart wisdom, knowledge and a shared purpose. Our goal is to strengthen, inspire and support family reunion planning; share useful information and resources; and advocate for the teaching of family and reunion history, values and experiences.
Planning a family reunion? Click below for tips on:
NEED HELP with a Sticky Reunion Situation?
- Check the SRS Archives (CLICK HERE) -OR-
- Contact us (CLICK HERE).
IS REUNION PLANNING 4 BLOOD MEMBERS ONLY?
THE SITUATION :
Our planning team is having a debate. Should only blood family members hold positions on the reunion planning team? Many of our family in-laws have been part of the family for years, are well loved and considered part of the family. Some of them have assisted with the planning of the reunion. When a couple of the relationships ended, family documents and info the in-laws were working on disappeared creating chaos, disorder and mistrust. So now the family wants to institute a rule that only blood family members can hold planning positions. We don’t want to offend the in-laws who haven’t done anything, but we are concerned about being able to secure family documents and keeping them safe. What do you think?
I used to think of September as a time for change and transition, similar to the new year. In September we typically plan our last Summer barbecue, get children settled into a back-to-school routine, ready ourselves for fall and end of year holidays and celebrations, all while conducting some serious planning for our next family reunion. The thing about family reunions is that they too change and transition. Life changes us and our family members. Every year our families are getting older, wiser and hopefully more involved. New members are born, others pass on. The family dynamic, interactions, roles and relationships shift. And that changes the way we plan, the activities and events we pursue, and how we communicate.
In order for reunions to stay fresh, succeed and grow, we have to be willing to adapt, modify and recalibrate. That doesn’t mean our well established, deeply rooted traditions go away. Traditions are needed to keep the past, present and future connected. They also encourage the pursuit of unknown family ancestry and lineage. What it does mean is that we have to get our younger generations on board, and work through the day-to-day issues and stumbling blocks that slow down our planning, progression and togetherness.
Speaking of family lineage, September is host to Hispanic Heritage Month, Ancestor Appreciation Day, Intergeneration Month, Wife Appreciation Day, Grandparent’s Day, Stepfamily Day, Baby Safety Month, Kids Take Over The Kitchen Day and Childrens’ Good Manners Month. There’s also Labor Day, National Day of Service and Remembrance, National Preparedness Month, Air Force Birthday, National Courtesy Month, Respect Day, Good Neighbor Day, National Love People Day, Family Health and Fitness Day, National School Success Month, Self-Improvement Month, Healthy Aging Month, and so much more. Check out this month’s FAMILY TIME with over 70 observances you and your family can enjoy.
This month’s REUNION TIP OF THE MONTH is a repeat from last year but well worth repeating. It includes tips for Ancestor Appreciation Month andIntergeneration Month. In WORTH REPEATING we share two groups of quotes: one regarding learning to be prepared and the other about fall and the upcoming autumnal change and transition.
While there are a number of fun things to observe this month, there are also some serious things happening as well, including National Preparedness Month and Suicide Prevention Month. Check the links below for information and help if needed.
Have a blessed September. Be well. Keep planning. Check-in on family members—old and young. And don’t forget to have some fun.
- Reunion Tip of the Month
- Family Time
- Worth Repeating Quotes: Learning and Preparedness
- Worth Repeating Quotes: Fall
- Sticky Reunion Situation
Ancestor Appreciation Day is observed on September 27th, giving us a chance to appreciate our ancestors, reflect on family lineage, and learn about ancestors we may have never known or heard about. Take some time this month to interview family elders and conduct research to discover more about our ancestors, family and ourselves. Then be sure to share what you've uncovered at the next reunion.
September is also Intergeneration Month, a time to intentionally focus on connecting generations to better communicate age-related gratitude and needs, build relationships that close the generation gap, and cultivates intentional interaction with each other. Take some time this month to bring your family generations together to inspire ideas and activities that can make your reunion more intergenerational.
September is when we try to stretch-out the last days of summer, focus on back-to-school learning, begin thinking about (or continue planning) our next reunion, and searching for more ways to have fun with the family. This September we’ve listed over 70 observances and holidays that you can turn into great family time including Wife Appreciation Day, Grandparent’s Day, Stepfamily Day, Baby Safety Month, Kids Take Over The Kitchen Day, Childrens’ Good Manners Month, Intergeneration Month, Ancestor Appreciation Day, National Love People Day, and Suicide Prevention Month.
LEARNING TO BE PREPARED
“Don't be afraid to ask questions. Don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it. I do that every day. Asking for help isn't a sign of weakness, it's a sign of strength. It shows you have the courage to admit when you don't know something, and to learn something new.” – Former President Barack Obama
“If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you.” – Zig Ziglar
“Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it.” – Marian Wright Edelman
“Let us resolve to be ready for any crisis and work to inspire a new generation of Americans, vested with the knowledge and experience to protect themselves, their families, and their communities in the face of any challenge.” - Former President Barack Obama
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
DID YOU KNOW???
September first marks the start of fall for meteorologists. However, many know the start of fall is marked by the autumnal equinox later in the month around September 22.
“And all at once, summer collapsed into fall” – Oscar Wilde
“Autumn shows us how beautiful it is to let things go.” – Unknown
“Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree” – Emily Bronte
“Autumn is more the season of the soul than of nature” – Friedrich Nietzsche
“Autumn is the season to find contentment at home by paying attention to what we already have.” – Unknown
“Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons.” – Jim Bishop
As this year’s reunions draw to a close it’s time to evaluate what worked and what needs improvement.
THIS IS HOW WE DO IT: THE HANCOCK FAMILY
We all like to think we are unique, but the Hancock Family has an approach to reunions that is different from almost all others.