CMB was founded in 1998 after a United Way Needs Assessment revealed that the number one problem facing our community was the break-down of the traditional two-parent family. In response, a dedicated group of church and community leaders formed CMB to work within the community to build and strengthen marriages.
Our office is located at 1229 Bellemeade Ave. in the Heritage Place office building. We are not-for- profit 501(c)(3) and have six full-time staff members and several contractual employees all working to further the mission of CMB. Our organization is governed by a Board of Directors that meets monthly. In addition, we have an advisory board whose members are called upon for assistance as the need arises. CMB provides services in Vanderburgh, Gibson, Warrick, and Posey Counties in S.W. Indiana. See our Ogranizational brochure.
The mission of Community Marriage Builders (CMB) is to educate and equip the community for lifetime marriages. Through our programs and collaboration with churches, corporations and other organizations, we will provide resources for marriage preparation, enrichment and/or reconciliation, improving the quality of life for families and children in the communities we serve.
Since 1998 Community Marriage Builders has been working within the community to foster awareness and support for strong marriages. Our mission has a profound impact on our society, as strong, healthy marriages are the foundation for strong, healthy families. Our communities need strong families; for it is within the family that children are nurtured to become honorable, productive citizens and future leaders. Our society can look forward to positive outcomes by addressing marriage…helping couples prepare for marriage, helping couples enrich their marriage, and helping couples restore their struggling or broken marriage. There most certainly is “Strength in Marriage.”
MEETING THE NEED
CMB provides the following programs and services to help strengthen marriage and family in our community:
Marriage Preparation and Enrichment Workshops
Marriages need proper preparation and constant enrichment in order to thrive. Our marriage preparation and enrichment workshops are lead by qualified, trained professionals and are designed to help couples build new marriages, revive struggling marriages, and strengthen good marriages. Our workshops are presented through a variety of means such as classroom settings, one-day seminars and weekend retreats. Topics are varied to include a wide array of marriage issues such as parenting, intimacy, communication and conflict resolution.
Our Marriage Preparation workshop is eight hours in length and called Make It Last(MALI). Our Marriage Enrichment courses (8 hour curriculum) include Mastering the Mysteries of Love, Marriage LINKS, 8 Habits of a Successful Marriage and World Class Marriage. Our workshop for couples in distress is call Revive (PAIRS).
We also have a workshop for seriously dating or singles called How to Avoid Falling for a Jerk or Jerkette (PICK).
Couple-to-Couple Mentoring for Pre-Marital and Engaged Couples
Our mentoring program connects pre-marital couples and engaged couples with others who have strong marriages having overcome crises in their marriages. CMB trains couples to become marriage mentors so they may share personal experiences to help couples to prepare for a lifetime marriage commitment.
Referrals for Marriage Counseling
CMB refers couples in strict confidence to a number of qualified Christian pro-marriage counselors in the area. Research shows that marriage counseling, when effective, tends to improve a person’s physical as well as mental health, in addition to improving the relationship.
Training and General Consultation for Churches
Since 75% of all local marriages are church-officiated, we encourage churches to sign a marriage covenant policy where they agree upon guidelines for premarital preparation and community support for marriage. (There are currently 196 Covenant Churches in the area.) We work with churches to help them become self-sufficient in administering marriage preparation, enrichment and divorce intervention programs within their own congregations.
Community Marriage Builders (CMB) is dedicated to building life-commitment marriages between one man and one woman in a loving and healthy relationship. Our commitment results in:
Stable, healthy and productive individuals and families with and enriched quality of life
Higher educational attainment of our community’s children
A reduced crime rate in our community
A stable, well-trained, dedicated and dependable workforce
A culture that values abstinence before marriage and fidelity in marriage
A decreased divorce rate in the community
WHY MARRIAGE MATTERS
Two-parent families are vanishing. This is a serious concern for our society. The family is the basic building block of society with marriage as its foundation. Inside the family unit is where children are nurtured, values are taught, and basic skills are learned for successful community living. Simply put, marriage is the best institution for raising healthy children. Current trends are telling us that many more couples are making the choice to cohabitate as opposed to or as a precursor to marriage. As many as 50 percent of all new marriages end in divorce, but for couples who cohabitate before marriage, almost three out of four of their marriages will end in divorce. With more couples divorcing and fewer couples marrying, traditional two-parent families are on the decline. Although these practices are representative of today’s contemporary lifestyle, they are causing serious and far-reaching implications to children, adults and our communities. Marriage and family life contribute to the well-being of individuals and our communities, and should be protected and preserved.
Our local community has identified single parenting and family problems inevery United Way Needs Assessment conducted over the last 10 years. In 2005, “Problems of Single Parent Families” was ranked among the top ten critical needs. Local statistics reflect this community concern:
OVER TEN YEARS IMPACTING OUR COMMUNITY
Since our founding, CMB has worked to become the frontrunner in our community for raising marriage awareness and garnering support for programs that strengthen and enrich marriages. We have stayed abreast of the latest trends in marriage initiatives and legislation by keeping close ties with government and community leaders and by participating in regional and national marriage conferences. We maintain strong ties with national pro-marriage organizations such as Marriage Savers, Smart Marriages, Family Life, and Focus on the Family. Furthermore, the organization is regularly called upon by the community and has been featured in local media sharing expert advice and knowledge about marriage matters. Currently, CMB has a “Marriage Moment”segment running on WBNL, WVHI, & WRAY radio stations. We have utilized regional and national resources, continued education, seminars and trainings, and fostered collaborative relationships with other marriage saving organizations to build an effective agenda of marriage programs and services in S.W. Indiana.
In 2004, a capacity building grant from the Department of Health & Human Services helped us to expand our service area beyond Vanderburgh County to neighboring counties including Warrick, Gibson and Posey. Each of these counties has an active task force with representatives serving on the CMB Board of Directors. Most recently in 2006, CMB was awarded a five-year Healthy Marriage Demonstration grant to further expand our existing framework of programs to achieve greater impact in S.W. Indiana. Through this grant, church and community leaders throughout S.W. Indiana are now partnering with CMB to plan and implement a comprehensive schedule of marriage preparation and enrichment programs in their communities. S.W. Indiana is embracing the mission of CMB. Communities have come to realize that building strong marriages helps to strengthen the very fabric of our society.
In 2006, CMB directly impacted over 2500 people who attended presentations, special events, enrichment seminars, meetings and trainings sponsored by CMB. We referred 216 couples for marriage counseling, made 832 divorce intervention contacts, and were featured in the local media 540 times. After learning of the impact we are making here in S.W. Indiana, 92 communities nationwide called upon CMB in 2006 to assist them in getting similar programs started in their own communities.
Furthermore, the national marriage organization, “Family Life,” took notice of our accomplishments and impact and selected us to partner with them in bringing their nationally acclaimed marriage enrichment seminar, “Weekend to Remember” to Evansville. The second annual event took place most recently November 3-5, 2006 with nearly 200 couples walking away from the weekend with a stronger commitment to their marriages. Our collaboration with Family Life has strengthened our visibility within this community and allowed us to become better stewards of our resources.
CMB must continue to expand programs and increase unrestricted giving to meet the growing need for marriage resources in S.W. Indiana. Our goals are reflective of this need. They are bold, yet attainable with your help.
- Develop and implement practices for long-term sustainability of our Federal Grant funded programs (marriage preparation and enrichment workshops, church trainings and consultations, marriage mentoring, and marriage counseling referrals.)
- Increase monthly and annual giving partners
- Increase attendance and sponsorship participation for annual CMB Banquet
- Develop and implement broad-based community marriage awareness campaign
WHY WE NEED YOUR HELP
CMB is grounded in a mission that has captured the attention of our community leaders and has become a major initiative at the national level. However our mission to save and strengthen marriage and families requires expert leadership, strong church and community partnerships, and ample resources. We are working to meet these needs, and have maintained good financial health while steadily stretching our resources to achieve a greater impact. We have now reached the point where we cannot continue to grow our mission and build long-term sustainability without increased financial support. Furthermore, the goals we must achieve (which will directly impact thousands in our communities) cannot be met without taking steps to strengthen community support and resources.
Won’t you join us in building strong marriages and families in S.W. Indiana?
All gifts to CMB are tax deductible as allowed by law.