The affects of the coronavirus have changed how we live our daily lives. And with family being at the heart of who we all are, family wellness is a foremost concern. May is Family Wellness Month, and last year we introduced you to 40 Ways to Celebrate Family Wellness Month, a list created by College Nannies + Tutors who wanted to encourage all families to participate in the month-long celebration. Their thought was, “Wellness is an important component of keeping your family happy and healthy”.  The list includes 40 different ways that you can increase your family’s emotional, physical and mental wellness. We’re sharing the list again this year in hopes that it helps us all get back to feeling and being well, and better connected.


May’s holidays and observances will have you loving, laughing, praying, renewing, drawing, meditating, barbecuing, biking, reading, game playing, tap dancing, Lindy Hopping, chicken dancing, pizza partying, strawberry picking, flower watering, loving your mom, bro, sis…and so much more. And while some events and activities that celebrate these days have been postponed or cancelled due to the coronavirus, we invite you to safely celebrate the ones you can with family members you are staying home/in quarantine with.

We have a big family and plenty of scattered holiday events. I'd like to plan a family reunion so that we can all be at the same place at the same time, but I'm not sure how to get family members to help. Do I select family members or ask for volunteers? What do I do if someone volunteers but has no skills?

Hot tea reduces stress and soothes the soul, so how about a virtual Mother’s Day Tea party for all moms in the family who are willing to participate. Select the date and time, and prepare a list of questions to get (and keep) the conversation going. The Moms should prepare their tea and join in the fun. You can talk about what it’s been like being a mom throughout the decades. Make sure everybody is participating. And don’t worry about grandma or auntie who may not have a computer or cellphone because with ZOOM you can join in using a traditional telephone. Send directions and do a test-run ahead of time. The end result will be an enjoyable tea with family mommies, and lots of historical and current information you can document for sharing with the family.

May 2020

Our motto is “Family Reunions are More Than Just a Picnic”. We believe reunions have the power to nourish and strengthen families of all races and ethnicities. Reunions can encourage healthy extended family relationships, provide a sense of belonging, restore family pride, nurture and respect all generations, and impart wisdom, knowledge and a shared purpose. Our goal is to strengthen, inspire and support family reunion planning; share useful information and resources; and advocate for the teaching of family and reunion history, values and experiences.

All that I am, or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother. ~ Abraham Lincoln

Life doesn’t come with a manual, it comes with a mother.   ~ Unknown

Nothing is really lost until your mom can’t find it.  ~ Unknown

Mothers hold their children’s hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.  ~ Unknown

Moms are like buttons—they hold everything together.  ~ Unknown

Mothers are like glue. Even when you can’t see them, they’re still holding the family together.  ~ Susan Gale

It’s not easy being a mother. If it were, fathers would do it.  ~ The Golden Girls

To the world you are a mother, but to your family you are the world.  ~ Unknown

Mothers, I believe, intoxicate us. We idolize them and take them for granted. We hate them and blame them and exalt them more thoroughly than anyone else in our lives. We sift through the evidence of their love, reassure ourselves of their affection and its biological genesis. We can steal and lie and leave and they will love us. ~ Megan Mayhew Bergman

I will look after you and I will look after anybody you say needs to be looked after, any way you say. I am here. I brought my whole self to you. I am your mother.  ~ Maya Angelou



We celebrate two family reunions each year, one with my family and the other with my husband’s. The first is on Memorial Day and the other is on the Fourth of July. Both are being cancelled this year because of the Coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic. And while everyone understands and wants to be safe, we’re all disappointed. Do you have any suggestions for what we can do as a family in-lieu of the reunions?

Memorial Day honors the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. We thank them for their service and wish all of you a safe holiday weekend.





Copyright 2014 - 2020. Family Reunion Institute. All rights reserved.



Getting Started Tips - Sylvia Ford-George, Harper Family Reunion

Take your time when planning your first reunion. Our first family reunion planning team consisted of 30 family members from the two states where the majority of family members lived. It took us a little over two years to plan our first reunion that was attended by close to 200 family members.  When planning, make sure your planning team represents the whole family. Make sure you get personal contact information for all family members. Make sure the reunion event(s) include something for everyone. Make sure reunion costs take into consideration the economic status of the entire family. And finally, make it easy for everyone to attend.
Do you have reunion planning experience and/or tips you'd like to share? CLICK HERE to Contact us with your tips:


2020 high school and college graduates are experiencing an end to their school year that’s not quite what they anticipated. And while they may be disappointed, they are also young and resilient, and most will have plenty of time to overcome today’s disappointment. Their futures are full of plenty more opportunities, milestones and occasions to celebrate, including 2021 first year reunions where they can make up for what didn’t happen this year.
To help encourage the graduates, former President Barack Obama provided speeches to inspire them. In case you missed it, you can check them out by clicking below.
>Obama speech to High School graduates

>Obama speech to HBCU graduates

...celebrating        years!

REUNION PLANNING 101: Getting Started Part 1

If lately you’ve been missing spending time with family and friends, and you’ve been thinking about planning a first-time family reunion, and  you have plenty of time on your hands…why not start planning for that reunion now?
There’s a lot of work involved in planning a first-time reunion. So while we’re waiting for the world to recover from the pandemic, and to get a better understanding and perspective on what normal will look like in the future, you can spend some time doing the upfront work that’s needed to get your reunion from being just a thought, to reality.

That reality has first time planners asking the basic questions…Who, What, When, Where and How. And through this month’s Sticky Reunion Situation, Suzanne and Doug offered great advice on the topic of planning a first reunion. Check out all the information you need to get started by clicking the links below:


What is a Mother?

- Katherine Nelson Davis

A mother is someone to shelter and guide us, to love us, whatever we do,
With a warm understanding and infinite patience, and wonderful gentleness, too.
How often a mother means swift reassurance, in soothing our small, childish fears,
How tenderly mothers watch over their children, and treasure them all through the years.
The heart of a mother is full of forgiveness, for any mistake, big or small,
And generous always in helping her family, whose needs she has placed above all.
A mother can utter a word of compassion, and make all our cares fall away,
She can brighten a home with the sound of her laughter, and make life delightful and gay.
A mother possesses incredible wisdom, and wonderful insight and skill-
In each human heart is that one special corner, which only a mother can fill!

May is the month we celebrate official (and unofficial) family reunions centered around Mother’s Day. This year big gatherings are prohibited because of the coronavirus, and the physical separations we're adhereing to, so we’ll have to find different and unique ways to celebrate Mom.
Motherhood is full of all types of moms and all types of mom/child relationships. And while most of us would want a mom like the one in the poem above, that’s not always the case. Truth is mom’s aren’t perfect. We have nine months (or so) to prepare for a significant and extreme, hands-on, full-time, long-term experience called motherhood. Most moms are up to the challenge. Some moms aren’t. At some point in time, we all need help, assistance and support.
It takes a village to raise a child—and to help mom’s become the best mother’s they can be. Mother-figures, stepmoms, adoptive moms, foster moms, grandmoms, aunts, cousins, siblings, friends, teachers, etc. help bridge gaps and expose us (mom and child alike) to different points of view, and ways of doing, being, and working together for the common good of mothering and childhood. The village offers role models, advice, conversation and experiences to help us get to being the strong, capable moms we are meant to be. This May as we celebrate motherhood, let’s not forget about those who with or without an official “mom” title,  step up to the plate, fill the role, enlarge our horizons, and make us better.
This May we’ll observe Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, Haitian Heritage Month, Jewish-American Heritage Month, Military Appreciation Month, National Foster Care Month, Personal History Awareness Month, National Water Safety Month, Hurricane Preparedness Week, Brothers and Sisters Day and Stepmother Day. This month’s FAMILY TIME holidays and observances will have us laughing, playing backyard games, dancing, and barbecuing. The REUNION TIP OF THE MONTH calls for a bit of tea. And, WORTH REPEATING shares quotes about the Moms we celebrate.
This month, let’s not forget that schools ended early without the usual events, fanfare, pomp and circumstance graduates look forward to. We hope you’ll find ways to celebrate and honor the achievements of the high school and college graduates you know. We wish them all well.
May is full of good intentions, better weather, greener grass, fuller trees, beautiful flowers, and lots of time to spend with family. Here’s hoping we get a chance to safely enjoy it.

·    Healthy Family: Observing Family Wellness Month
·    Family Time
·    Reunion Tip of The Month
·    Worth Repeating

LATER THIS MONTH come back for:
·    Sticky Reunion Situation
·    Reunion Planning 101: Getting Started Part 1
·    In Case You Missed It!


May photos courtesy of Yahoo images.