Embracing our Heritage—Reuniting our Families
Since the beginning of time, the essence of human survival has been the nuclear family. With the support of the extended family (grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins) and through the power of storytelling (watch the video, The Power of Storytelling, with Sir Ian McKellen to the right), the nuclear family brought a sense of belonging to their children which, in turn, developed character, instilled self-confidence, and built the tools to create long and lasting relationships. As the children grew into adulthood, this sense of belonging extended into their community and society prospered.
Unfortunately, as technology has exponentially expanded in the past few decades, family unity and the sense of belonging has seriously weakened. As a result, our society is becoming more and more impulsive and unstable.
Today, both parents are more likely to be working outside the home.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2014, both parents were working in more than one half (60,2%) of married families with children. That's up from less than one half (44.8%) in 2010 according to the Center for American Progress. That's a 25% increase in just four years.
Today, extended family members are often unavailable. Even the nuclear family is fractured, leaving only one parent to raise the children.
According to the latest U.S. Census Bureau, there are about 12 million single parent families in 2014. More than 80% were headed by single mothers. A total of about 17.4 million children under 18—that's about 1 out of 4—are being raised without a father and nearly half live below the poverty line, i.e. they are not self sustaining.
Conversely, many extended family members are raising the children
Growing numbers of children in the United States are living with grandparents. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, nearly 8 (7.8) million children are being raised in households headed by their grandparents or other relatives. In 2009, 7.8 million children lived with at least one grandparent, a 64 percent increase since 1991 when 4.7 million children lived with a grandparent, according to a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau. This is nearly double from the 2000 Census.
Though we cannot return to yesteryear, we can use modern technology to virtually reestablish the nuclear/extended families of the past. The purpose of Embrace Our Heritage is to create an unique genealogical site to reunite families and reestablish the family ties for generations to come.
With this in mind, we are asking for your assistance. We are developing a short introductory video to explain our organization. Before we finalize this video, we would deeply appreciate your assistance in evaluating this video. Does this video reflect the essence of our organization? Do you agree with the concept that the family structure has deteriorated—perhaps not for your family, but for others? Are you interested in being involved and contributing? How would you improve the video? Again, we appreciate and value any feedback you may have to improve this video.
For your effort, we will offer you a minimum of a 10% discount on any resource material or membership package we offer. If you do not wish to participate, we will email you or have available on our site, an upcoming e-book related to Embracing Our Heritage.
If interested in further details, here are our core objectives:
To Collect and Publish Stories As the first video above has shown, we've been telling stories since the beginning of time because stories connect us to our families, our communities and our society. Yet we seldom record our stories and thus they are lost forever for our future descendants. Because many of us have difficulty and little time to write a well organized storybook, our objective at Embrace Our Heritage is to collect stories for and from you, your family, and your relatives. As writers, published authors, and bloggers, we will take your text, audio, and/or video stories, compile, edit your stories, and with your permission, publish your stories, in a storybook format, for your children, nieces, nephews and your future descendants to read and learn where they came from. Instead of reading fictional bedtime stories, why not have your great, great, great, grandchild read the many life stories about you, your parents and grandparents? Wouldn't that be far more meaningful and rewarding for your future descendants?
To Provide a Family Conferencing Service In the past, grandparents and other extended family members lived in close proximity to each other. Grandparents generally were their grandchildren's storytellers, mentors, and teachers, while other extended family members provided additional moral support and guidance to ensure that the children would have a strong moral and emotional foundation to sustain them through life. Today, however, many extended family members are more likely to be spread across a state/province, a country, or even the world, and in fact, even many nuclear families are fragmented with children being raised by only a single parent. Fortunately, modern technology can connect with and reunite our extended family members. Currently, we have various social media outlets to close the gap between extended family members including Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest, video phones, video conferences, etc. Yet, these technical resources are not specifically focused on the concept of reunifying the family structure so necessary to nurture and guide our children. Even "family" networks are more focused on photo collections and the more superficial aspects of the family. Embrace Our Heritage, on the other hand, is totally dedicated to provide a variety of technological methods to draw families together including a Family Conferencing and Support Service.
To Provide Low-Cost Family History Research
Though recording your family history through storytelling is most essential to reuniting the family and providing the necessary support for our children, a family tree of dates, photos and records are also quite significant. Yet a thorough research of your family history can be especially time consuming and quite costly. There are many different resources to research your family history including other family trees, social security and military records, obituaries, news articles, and ship manifests. A few are free, but are likely to be somewhat limited in resources. Most comprehensive resources are fee based with subscriptions from $4.95 to $19.95 or more per month. Unless you are a fulltime genealogist or you have unlimited time to spare, these multiple monthly charges are generally not cost effective, especially if you are researching for only a few members of your family. Embrace Our Heritage are members of various fee based sites and we are dedicated as well as knowledgeable in researching through genealogical files. For only one moderate monthly or annual fee we will do the research for you.
To Provide Effective Communications Skills As technology in communications has exponentially advanced in the past few decades, interpersonal communications has seriously deteriorated—resulting in increased violence, disrespect for one another, confrontation rather than compromise, and more. Quality communications is essential to find peaceful resolutions between spouses, parents and children, parents and their parents, coworkers, neighbors, etc. As a result, we provide various recommendations and resources for effective communication skills including recommended books, articles and our own blog and forum.
To Provide Family Resources We go to school for at least 12 years to be educated. Some decide to attend college and be educated in a specific discipline, yet few are trained or educated in raising children or building relationships—items left to the grandparents in past years. Embrace Our Heritage is dedicated to providing families the resources which will be helpful in developing quality and loving families.