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Be Kind to Humankind

In Community, Lifestyle, Relationships by Elizabeth Stephenson

We’re living through a rough time in our country. The civil discourse regarding social and political issues has become toxic, with lines drawn in the sand and neither side willing to give an inch to the other. This is really sad, as long term friendships have been tested and fractured as a result. Nevertheless, we should never forget what unites us, which is our humanity and our ultimate desire to leave the world better for our children. “Be Kind to Humankind” is an annual week—celebrated since 1988—that celebrates humanity through exhibiting kindness on a daily basis. This year, it falls on the week of August 25-31, 2018. According to the movement’s official website, each day of the week is designated with its own theme, including: Sunday, August 25th: “Sacrifice Our …

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Remembering Those Who Have Died In Our Service

In Community by Elizabeth Stephenson

Memorial Day is our nation’s day to honor and remember people in the military who have died in service of our country. While the origination and intention of this holiday is to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country, as a national holiday, people also take this day as an opportunity for travel, relaxation and spending time with family and friends. With the spirit and purpose of this day in mind, here are some ideas that are worth your time and provide service to those who have served us. For many, this day is associated with decorating the graves of soldiers with flowers and flags. You can choose to bring flowers and flags to a VA National Cemetery or a State Veterans Cemetery. Make the trek …

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Recognizing Foster Care Month

In Community by Sarah Hink

In North Carolina and across the country, there are hundreds of thousands of children who are in foster care. These are children who states and courts have found to be abused or neglected, or whose parents are unable to care for them. As a result, these children have been placed in the care of foster parents, with appropriate family members and friends, in group-homes, and in institutional settings. May is National Foster Care Month, the purpose of which is to bring attention to children in foster care, to celebrate foster parents, and to encourage the widespread support of foster children and their caregivers. New Direction Family Law firmly believes in child protection, and that every child has a right to live free of abuse and neglect. Celebrate Foster Families Foster …

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Recognizing Cinco de Mayo

In Community by Sarah Hink

Cinco de Mayo has just passed. Contrary to a widely held belief, Cinco de Mayo is not the celebration of Mexican independence day (that is actually in September). Instead, it commemorates the Mexican army’s unlikely 1862 victory over the French army at the Battle of Puebla during the French-Mexican War. This victory in the face of overwhelming odds marked a point of pride and resistance for Mexicans in that war, which ended six years later. So why is this day of national significance in the United States? Because it has been adopted as a day to celebrate Mexican-American culture and heritage. At New Direction Family Law, we embrace Cinco de Mayo because Mexican culture is something to be respected and celebrated; as such, we would recommend treating Cinco de Mayo …

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Random Act of Kindness Day

In Community, Health, Lifestyle by Sarah Hink

There is no disputing that we are living in divisive and negative times. From television, to social media, to interpersonal interactions, there seems to be a combative dynamic on every imaginable issue. Fortunately, good deeds and basic decency transcend politics and can help us see that we share more common ground than we like to admit. If you want proof of this, read articles or watch videos of complete strangers responding during natural disasters, such as Hurricane Harvey or the California fire and mudslides. In essence, people are still good, but we need reminders now more than ever. February 17th is Random Act of Kindness Day. Started in 1995 by the eponymous Random Acts of Kindness Foundation, this is a day to celebrate and promote people paying it forward. The …

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Recognizing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

In Community, Lifestyle by Sarah Hink

We are living in turbulent and divisive times. Regarding any hot button issue, it seems that so many people have drawn a line in the sand and are unwilling to engage in civil discourse. Sometimes, it is important to take a step back and consider the things that unify us instead of what divides us. Monday, January 15, 2018 is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a national holiday that serves to honor the birth and legacy of the famed civil rights activist. We believe that Dr. King’s legacy and his dream are universally applicable and are worthy of celebration. Service Learning One way of honoring Dr. King’s service to this nation is by volunteering. As he so aptly stated, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: what are you doing …

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Celebrating Native American Heritage Month

In Community by Elizabeth Stephenson

November is National Native American Heritage Month! To commemorate this month, New Direction Family Law would like to recognize this state’s significant Native American populations, its Tribes, and its organizations. In fact, did you know that North Carolina has the country’s largest Native American population east of the Mississippi river? According to the 2000 U.S. Census, 99,551 Native Americans reported living in the state. State Recognized Native American Tribes North Carolina recognizes a total of 8 Native American tribes and 4 organizations. The state-recognized tribes include: Coharie Indian Tribe. 910-564-6909 Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. 828-497-2771 Haliwa-Saponi Indian Tribe. 252-586-4017 Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina. 910-521-7861 Meherrin Indian Nation–People of the Water. 252-209-0934 Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation. 336-421-1317 Waccamaw Siouan – People of the Fallen Star. 910-655-8778 Of …

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The Duty to Report Child Abuse

In Community by Elizabeth Stephenson

Children are our most vulnerable population of people and cannot protect themselves. They rely on the eyes and ears of our entire community to protect them. That is why when a child is abused or neglected, we have a duty to speak up. The North Carolina Division of Social Services is tasked with the responsibility of receiving reports of abuse or neglect of children and investigating those reports; however, in order to protect children, Child Protective Services relies on citizens, like you, to make these reports. How Do I Identify Abuse or Neglect? Abuse is considered by the State as “intentional maltreatment of a child and can be physical, sexual, or emotional in nature.” Neglect is an omission, or a failure to provide proper care, supervision, or medical care for …

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Celebrating National LGBT Pride Month

In Community by Elizabeth Stephenson

For many, it seems like we are living through a period of darkness and conflict. The Internet has given rise to an unprecedented level of anonymous hatred and vitriol. Further, it seems that political discourse on both a state and national level has been incredibly polarizing with neither side of the political spectrum recognizing any form of common ground. At New Direction Family Law, we seek to defy hatred and negativity, and to celebrate the positive. June is National LGBT Pride Month and we are proud to celebrate this month with the North Carolina LGBT community. The History of LGBT Pride Month Throughout the 1950’s and 60’s anti-gay sentiment was codified in laws across the country and there was little cohesion or unity among LGBT people and groups to advocate …

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The Benefits of Volunteering

In Community, Lifestyle by Elizabeth Stephenson

No one lives a perfectly happy, problem-free life. If you are reading this blog, there is a chance that you are experiencing a pretty challenging separation, divorce, or child custody situation. As difficult as the circumstances of our lives are, it sometimes helps to put things into perspective of other people’s lives, or to simply find positive ways of focusing our attention. At New Direction Family Law, our team has a lot of experience volunteering in the community, and we highly recommend you try it. Expand Your Living Experience There are many reasons that people love to volunteer. It allows us to challenge ourselves. By choosing volunteer opportunities that are outside of our comfort zone, we expand our living experience. For example, if you volunteer with the elderly population, you …