Families Matter to bridge community in 5K Fun Or Walk this weekend at Shelby Farms

According to a recently-released report by the U.S. Census Bureau, the divorce rate of first marriage is around 50 percent, second marriages are at 60 to 67 percent, and third marriages are in the neighborhood of 73 to 74 percent.

“That’s because in the first relationship before people get married, they do not get the tools to help them understand themselves and understand building relationships,” Families Matter director Carol Jackson explains. “So what they look at is their partner as their problem, failing to understand that they each bring different baggage to the relationship. And if they don’t understand how to unpack their baggage, then your mate becomes your problem.”

For more than 25 years, Jackson and her husband, Herman Jackson, have gone to great lengths to mentor couples on marriage restoration and family development. Having been married for 40-plus years, the couple has become a fixture for Families Matter, a faith-based organization comprised of various programs aimed largely at increasing the number of healthy, loving and caring families in Memphis, Shelby County, and beyond through a community wide movement.

And, because Families Matter also emphasizes the importance of families living a healthy lifestyle, the organization will host its inaugural 5K Fun Walk Or Run Saturday morning at Shelby Farms. Registration ($ 22 for adults and $ 6 for children under 12) will begin at 8 with the 5K event scheduled to start at approximately 9.

Carol Jackson said the purpose for the event is to increase awareness of Families Matter as well as raise revenue that will enable the organization to fund programs. Founded in 2004, Families Matter offers a variety of programs, most notably Before You Tie The Knot, Dynamic Dads, Marriage Mentoring, and Training Camp For Dads, an annual conference sponsored by the office of Memphis mayor A. C. Wharton aimed at helping fathers grasp their roles within the family.

“What we try to do is try to help individuals, first of all, get a really good grip on themselves and then try to understand and walk with the spouse,” Carol Jackson said. “There’s always going to be issues because life is full of circumstances. But we strive to help people to understand that what’s happening to them is not life-changing. It’s an event.”

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