Tree Action IS THE SIGNATURE ACTIVITY OF
*We briefly mention God in our commercial because over 85% of Americans identify as God following in one way or another and half divorce. We also mention 'something greater than themselves" above and in saying this, as well as referencing God, we recognize these notions mean different things to different people and in no way do we raise them to define them.
It can be said every person in America is affected by DIVORCE. You don’t have to go beyond yourself, your parents, kids, siblings, close friends, or co-workers to have been affected by it. Just as drunk driving had always occurred in great numbers until one mother said “Enough!” divorce is occurring in overwhelming numbers. And now, one father has finally said “Enough!”
Kids Against Divorce is not anti-divorce, per say. Rather, it is against the reasons that lead a couple down the path to divorce. Moreover, it is about embracing the responsibilities to families. Divorce is a very sensitive subject. It is difficult to make concrete statements regarding the issue of divorce because it’s extremely personal and emotionally driven. Every marriage has a combination of dynamics, which can create gray areas that make divorce seem justifiable. Truth be told, the only reason divorce is truly justifiable is domestic violence. This criminal behavior should never be tolerated. The solution to it all is not complicated – treat each other the way you want to be treated!
OUR GUIDING PRINCIPLES
People of all ages make statements regarding divorce that tend to be relative to the disaster of divorce itself. When someone says, “It’s better for the kids to see us divorced than to see us unhappy together“ or “I am glad my parents got divorced because they’re happier now,” these statements are about the parent’s level of happiness post-divorce. None of these rationalizations are comparable to the level of happiness the kids would have achieved had their parents fixed and continued in their marriage. There are always couples with bigger problems, whose marriages survive, just as there are couples with smaller problems whose marriages fail. It’s not about what your problems are. It’s about who you are and how you resolve problems. We are at a pivotal moment in time. The seventy, eighty, and ninety year olds who will pass on over the next thirty years will take with them the last remnants of traditional family values. While not every aspect of a traditional values lifestyle is something we might want to hold on to, each new generation of twenty-somethings are farther and farther away from those traditional family values. This is such a trend that it is not a far-fetched notion to consider that marriage will become obsolete within the next half-century.
WHY THIS MATTERS TO YOU
Parents married? Parents divorced? Happily married? Unhappily married? Divorced? Never married? No matter where you are on the marriage / divorce wheel, you can still change the culture, so that your own children choose to be married one day..
OUR MESSAGE IS IN OUR HISTORY
Kids Against Divorce was born in 2011 without knowing exactly what we would do. We just knew a voice was needed. While our name suggests we are an organization for kids, we are in fact a place for parents to calm their own voice and truly hear that Kids are Against Divorce!
In establishing our identity, we knew people respond more favorably to what you’re for rather than what you’re against, however, while our research found many wonderful people throughout the country, doing so many terrific things in marriage education, marriage counseling, and legislative reform, we also discovered all that obstructs pro-marriage couples’ efforts continuing to grow. It was though these people were going up the down escalator. We didn’t want to be just another organization with good intentions that ultimately didn’t move the needle, so we decided it was important to be about what we’re against. We felt a big statement was needed.
We explored ideas.
• On A Wing & A Prayer would be a tour of college campuses? Marriage Man, an idea for a cartoon superhero? The KADy’s as an awards show? KADU (Kids Against Divorce University) could be a place for learning? We did a podcast called Keeping It Together.
• We also turned to the church’s role in the problem and explored constructing mission trips called Marriage On a Mission. We tossed around the idea of Birth Vows and a Born Again Marriage. We started a class called Marriage Mondays.
• We’ve also been an integral part of a Million Minor March, and teamed up with a world renowned expert to operate a Valentine’s Day Giveaway of free marriage counseling. We developed The KADvent Calendar, and Advent calendar for husbands & wives.
• We organized petitions to Kraft Foods and The National Football League. We even created legislation called The Marriage Education Act, which was discussed on The Today Show and several other national TV news and Radio programs.
• We introduced KADgrove – a living monument comprised of Family Trees.
We had no shortage of great ideas. Unfortunately, we were not able to marshal the manpower or resources to accomplish the great opportunities before us. Ours is a never give up attitude though because that’s the spirit we hope people have in their marriage. We won’t quit!
So, in 2016, as we marked our fifth anniversary, we found the best course is to stop trying to do too much and re-launch KADgrove – renamed Tree Action - as our singular focus and see this through! That’s it. That’s all we’re going to do. We believe keeping our focus on Tree Action is the most efficient way to make the statement that is needed. In turn, we believe this program will help people all over the country who wish to strengthen marriage and reduce divorce. Through this focus, we’re going to succeed in giving children the voice we set out to provide them over five years ago, and make the difference we sought!
Arbor Day, where the customary observance is to plant a tree, is now every day for us! On the first Arbor Day in 1872, an estimated one million trees were planted. One hundred-forty years later, technology is such that we can harness the hearts of many and do this for a great cause.
David Schel is the founder of Kids Against Divorce; a nationally recognized organization dedicated to giving children a voice. He has experienced divorce from all sides; as a son, a brother, a nephew, an uncle, a husband, a stepfather, and father. David is also the creator of The Marriage Education Act, which has been discussed on national television news shows as well as in newspapers and on radio programs throughout the country. He writes a Blog called Resilience Is Relative. His first novel, Without a Chair is scheduled for release in January 2017. Click here to go to his website.