National Parents Organization is grateful for the commitment, hard work and dedication of its numerous volunteers, donors, Board members and staff to the goals of our organization. Without you, we would not have succeeded in making the considerable gains we have in recent months in reforming state legislation to ensure shared parenting for our children.

We were particularly proud to learn last week that one of our volunteer Affiliate Chairs, Christian Paasch, was also recognized by the U.S. Air Force for his volunteerism by being awarded the 2018 Air Force Spirit of Service Award. Please see the write-up below. A hearty ‘Congratulations and Thank-you’ to Christian for all you do for NPO!

“Mr. Christian Paasch champions the highest standard of community service. His unwavering commitment to children and parental rights, and ensuring the well-being of children, to include military families, in the Commonwealth of Virginia is unsurpassed. Over the last three years, Christian has not only volunteered thousands of hours to form and lead a statewide, non-profit organization aimed at furthering “shared parenting” but also sponsored legislation in the Commonwealth of Virginia for shared parenting reform.

Christian leads the Virginia Chapter of the National Parents Organization (NPO), which seeks to make shared parenting the norm in family courts across the nation. Child custody laws are very state-specific, so he focuses his chapter’s efforts on reform within Virginia. Since this space is typically fraught with men’s groups and women’s groups fighting each other, Christian has committed to instead champion the approach of uniting moms and dads in the fight for gender equity in family courts. In order to drive change through his extensive volunteer work, Christian leverages the skills that are evident within his day-to-day performance as a DoD career civilian — his expert research and analytical skills, ability to build coalitions, bridge communication gaps and strive for results.

Specifically, Christian has succeeded in leading a team of women and men, who collectively have published more than 25 op-eds in the past three years and most recently, successfully introduced legislation that will be a very significant first step toward shared parenting reform in Virginia. Past legislative efforts by other groups have never advanced past the first sub-committee, but Christian’s team has partnered with a variety of allies in Virginia to push their bill not only out of the sub-committee (8-0 unanimous vote), but also through the House Courts of Justice Committee (18-0 unanimous vote) and through the Virginia House of Representatives (98-0 unanimous vote). This is a landmark “first” in Virginia — it has never been done before in Virginia with shared parenting legislation!

Christian’s tenacity and compassion to better serve both youth and parents is well-respected by peers and pillars of the community. Former Virginia Governor McAuliffe appointed Christian as one of 15 members of Virginia’s Child Support Guidelines Review Panel, and he was recently invited to speak on “Successful Co-Parenting” at the seventh annual Dad 2.0 Summit in New Orleans. Christian’s selfless service is revolutionizing how the community perceives fatherhood.

In addition to his co-parenting volunteer work, Christian devotes time to Boy Scout camping trips, fund-raising 5K runs, and other selfless acts to aid the community. Within the office, Christian also mentors fellow employees and serves as a sounding board for leadership on how to tackle organizational challenges, improve communication, and build morale. His hard work and dedication sets a standard for others — he epitomizes servant leadership through his words and deeds.”

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Volunteer Testimonial

"For the last 10 years with help of organizations like “National Parents Organization,” parents like me, have worked against continuous opposition to reform the Hawaii Family Court away from the adversarial model toward a collaborative one. We need family courts that respect the importance of frequent, continuing and meaningful parenting time with both parents. Because effective parenting needs to have a sufficient quantity to achieve quality."

By Chris Lethem, Chair, Hawaii Executive Committee