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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Domestic violence in Howard County

     The issue of domestic violence has received attention from the Ray Rice incident this week like it has never known before.  One videotape has shown graphically what is usually only seen behind closed doors.  It is hard to find a family which doesn't have some experience with domestic violence.  Domestic violence not only impacts adults but also children and even pets.  As a former foster parent I have seen directly the damage that domestic violence has caused to children here in Howard County.
      We are fortunate to have a resource in Howard County that works to address the issue with Howard County families.  The Hope Works of Howard County (formerly the Domestic Violence Center) "supports and advocates for survivors of sexual and domestic violence, but is also at the forefront of creating lasting change."  One positive way to express your outrage at the Ray Rice incident and support families here in Howard County might be to make a donation to this local organization on their webpage

   I would also like to highlight another Howard County organization that is worthy of your donation. The National Family Resiliency Center.  The Center describes their mission as:  

     "The National Family Resiliency Center, Inc. has one special goal—fostering healthy relationships in all families regardless of composition. Through individual, couple, family, parent, co-parent, pre-marital, marital, separation and blended family counseling.

      Regardless of family composition, all families experience challenges that are related to children’s developmental stages and changing needs, and parents’ challenges at work and in personal relationships. We develop a customized approach for each individual and family based on the client’s goals and needs.

     The National Family Resiliency Center, Inc. (formerly Children of Separation and Divorce Center) guides and supports children during family transitions so that they emerge healthy and hopeful for the future. Since our founding in 1983, we have done this by helping more than 28,000 individuals and families resolve conflict, co-parent, and make child-focused decisions before, during, and after the dissolution of their marriage."

     The Center is hosting their "10th annual 5 For Families 5K Race, 1 Mile Walk and, Family Fun Day. The event will commence at 8 a.m. on Saturday, September 20th at Lakefront, directly across from Columbia Mall near Clyde’s Restaurant and the newly opened Petit Louis. All ages are invited to participate with awards and trophies given out to winners in various age categories.

       In addition to the 5K race and 1K walk, the 5 For Families Fun Day event will include face painting, games and other activities geared toward children and families including entertainment by: B.Funk Dance Company; Drama Learning Center (Frozen sing-along and mermaid interactive dance party); Mike John, the juggler, balloon sculptor and strolling minstrel; as well as Kangaroo Kids, the precision jump rope team. Chances for Luxury Suite Ravens tickets valued at $2000 will be available for raffle and winner announced mid morning. The 5 For Families event will be begin promptly at 8:00 AM and continue through noon.

     For over 30 years, NFRC has committed to helping children and adults preserve a sense of family, foster healthy relationships, and adjust constructively to change, especially during times of separation, divorce and other family transitions. The proceeds from the event will support NFRC’s sliding fee therapy programs. NFRC has provided more than $90,000 in free counseling services to families in the community in recent years thanks to community supporters.

NFRC would like to welcome those interested in volunteering for our 5 For Families event to email us at You can also support NFRC by joining our Facebook Event Page and inviting anyone who may be interested."

For more information about the schedule of events and registering for the 5K race or 1K walk, please visit:

   From Mary Kay Sigaty:
"The HC Food Bank is in need of donations. Can you help today by dropping off any of the following items: cereal, tuna, pasta, pasta sauce, beans, canned fruit, rice, peanut butter or canned vegetables? The Food Bank is open 9 AM - 4 PM weekdays and is located at 8920 Rte 108, Columbia! With your help, 23,000 won't go hungry."

    Guess M&T Bank is playing it safe after having Ray Rice on their advertising in the past.  Now they are feeling that it is unsafe having any player representing them and are going with the coach and front office personnel.  "Play like a Raven" suddenly takes on a whole new meaning after just one incidence of domestic violence.


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