MMJ’s 10 Year Anniversary – It’s Worth Celebrating!
10 Years of Marriage Matters Jackson,
and yes we still do!
Marriage Matters Jackson (MMJ) is entering its 10th year of operation and we’re thrilled to have had the chance to serve the Jackson Community and beyond with hundreds of workshops, events and presentations. What a privilege to share the good news about the benefits of marriage and to help couples strengthen their relationships.
Many people ask our staff “are you part of a national organization?” After we smile and say “no,” we explain that MMJ is homegrown and honored to deliver research-proven workshops, high-quality presentations and fun-filled events.
There have been so many key people, sponsors, donors, volunteers and staff who have built and sustained Marriage Matters Jackson throughout the last decade. We wish we could list and thank all of them individually. There aren’t enough words to express our appreciation -- Marriage Matters Jackson and the families we serve are indebted and continuously thankful to our supporters for their belief in MMJ’s vision to promote, prepare and preserve healthy marriages.
|Tell us YOUR story!
We'd love to hear how MMJ has impacted you or someone you know. Share your memories and stories with MMJ by emailing them to firstname.lastname@example.org!
How Did This Happen?
It’s all about you and your relationships and giving children the best chance in life. Wow, that sounds like a lot, but it’s exactly why Marriage Matters Jackson was formed 10 years ago. Research proves that children who are raised in intact homes by their married mom and dad do better physically, emotionally, academically and financially. On the flip side, children are more likely to take part in high risk behavior – substance abuse, crime, school struggles, teen pregnancy – if their parents aren’t married. Ask any teacher, counselor, police officer, judge, or child: Marriage matters and family breakdown can bring a lifetime of pain.
The Weatherwax Foundation, MMJ’s main funder for the past 10 years, was constantly receiving grant requests to help worthy programs for children, but they wanted to create something proactive: an organization to help children with the thing that would most impact their life – their mom and dad’s relationship with each other.
The Weatherwax Foundation approached the local United Way about convening a community team to explore creating a healthy marriage initiative in Jackson County. At the time, Jackson suffered from a higher divorce rate than the state’s already elevated divorce rate. Furthermore, a community survey conducted in 2006 revealed more than 80 percent of people reported they did not know where to turn for marital help. A caring and collaborative group, including interested community members, business professionals, non-profit and faith based organizations, formed the Healthy Marriage Initiative Planning team.
After meeting with leaders from several successful nationally recognized healthy marriage initiatives, the Weatherwax Foundation worked with the United Way in Jackson to house and assist with the launch of Marriage Matters Jackson in 2007. Based on its successful programming, community need and response, and a plan of management and activity grounded in experience and research, MMJ obtained independent non-profit status in 2010 and has continued to serve the Jackson and surrounding communities.
Marriage Education: Proven & Positive
Dating and marriage can be tough, and no one gives you a manual, but there are research-proven ways to help make your relationship stronger. And because delivery and environment make all the difference, MMJ believes in offering workshops and events that are fun, upbeat and inviting.
Marriage Matters Jackson does not limit its programs only to married people –everyone is welcome to attend any of our relationship enhancing events and workshops. Beyond the many public events, MMJ also conducts numerous school programs -- last year alone, MMJ presented to hundreds of high school students, providing valuable information on healthy dating habits.
In 2016, MMJ began expanding into Lenawee and Hillsdale Counties, and we are thrilled that our reach is allowing us to help even more families. Literally thousands of people have attended MMJ events and we know many lives have been positively impacted. Most importantly, we know there are children who won’t have to face the pain of divorce and all its lifelong effects. They will go to bed in a secure home with a brighter future – what a great reason to celebrate!
"I just wanted to say congratulations! For so long I would suggest to anyone who would listen that instead of holding divorce survival workshops we should be holding marriage survival workshops. I was so pleased when MMJ started! I am thrilled that it has been so successful. Thank you for hanging in there because Marriage does Matter. We are forty years and counting!" - Rebecca
"We made it to the date night event of The Vow. What a wonderful evening of time spent together on the drive up from Britton, during the event, and the discussion and drive home. The event was excellent in its relevence and content. It gave us a boost to keep going when times get difficult. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of the evening in Jackson. God bless your ministry." - Dave
"Just wanted to send a quick email to tell you how much my husband and I enjoyed the Turn Down the Lights last night. I was so excited to see so many couples and it really opened the platform for people to feel more comfortable.Thank you for all you do. I speak your praises to everyone in my own practice and personal life. My husband’s and I’s marriage started with support from you all. Thanks again." - Becky
“We used the skills Marriage Matters Jackson taught us to communicate, grow, strengthen and become the couple we knew we could be.” - Joanne