Forever Families, Inc. is a non-profit organization founded by Jeff & Debby McElroy who left their careers at IBM and teaching to dedicate their lives to helping youth. After several years of working with students, Jeff & Debby realized kids weren't the problem, they were the barometer of the problem, which was the disintegration of the family. The McElroys sold their home, gave away most of their stuff, and with their six-month-old daughter in tow, they moved into an RV and traveled around the country, on mission to strengthen kids by strengthening families.
After 250,000 miles and their daughter was ready to start first grade, they settled into a regular home to give her a chance to "grow some roots." Decades later, they've since settled in Knoxville, TN and their daughter is a senior at Berry College in Rome, GA, engaged to be married soon herself. Their son is 17 and also actively involved in their work.
Under the McElroys leadership, Forever Families helps thousands of couples, parents, students and families each year. A significant part of their work is in service to military, first responder and ministry families. "Those families sacrifice so much in service to other families. We feel a responsibility to give back by doing everything we can to protect theirs," say founders Jeff & Debby McElroy.
Their kids are involved for more personal reasons. Trevan, their son, states, "Sometimes when we're tired of traveling most weekends to minister to families and lead our conferences, I think about the fact that I've grown up with friends who spend every weekend having to move from one parent's house to the other. At least I'm always with my family. And if our traveling and hard work can keep one other kid from having to see their parents split and their home fall apart, then it's worth it to me."
"I'll never forget when one of my friends said that ever since her parents got divorced, she's never said she's going 'home' again," says their daughter, Kristen. "She said she goes to her mom's house or her dad's house, but she never says she's going 'home.' That broke my heart. Ever since then, this became as much my life's calling as it is my mom's and dad's."
"Our purpose isn't to make parents feel guilty about getting divorced. Our goal is to help fewer couples need to get divorced in the first place," states Jeff McElroy. "When a family falls apart, everybody loses," Debby adds. "The couple, the community, the country, and the kids most of all."
For more information on marriage and family facts and the ministries started by this family to impact other families, go to www.ForeverFamilies.com