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Catholic Charities of Kansas launches $1.4 million program to promote marriage

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Sunday, July 15, 2012, at 7:41 p.m.

Catholic Charities of Kansas has launched a statewide campaign to promote the values and benefits of marriage.

The program, “Love Letters from Kansas,” includes workshops aimed at married couples (“Within Our Reach”) and at single persons (“Within My Reach”). The organization also offers assistance with accessing community services, parenting classes and career development training.

“Kansas has a slightly higher divorce rate” than the national average, said Cynthia Colbert, executive director with Catholic Charities in Wichita. “Not only that, research shows that children raised by parents in healthy marriages are more likely to have stronger outcomes when they’re adults.

“We believe that by strengthening marriages and helping people have the skills to have healthy relationships, that strengthens families for the long term.”

The program is funded by a $1.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. About 10 percent of the grant was spent on an advertising campaign to raise awareness of the program and direct people to the campaign’s website, www.KansasLoveLetters.com.

The program aims to recruit 2,855 couples and 1,320 single adults over a three-year period. According to the program’s objectives, 75 percent of those who attend the workshop or receive assistance from the organization should report better relationship functioning and 60 percent should report a stable or improved household financial status.

People interested in attending the workshops may call at 316-264-8344 or go to www.KansasLoveLetters.com.

Catholic Charities of Kansas has provided marriage and relationship education through its Marriage for Keeps program to close to 1,100 couples since 2007 and around 135 adults since October 2011.

Reach Simina Mistreanu at 316-269-6791 or smistreanu@wichitaeagle.com.

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