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How do we honor our fathers within our families and across society? Are fathers expendable? Invisible? Are they the backbone? An equal to the mother? The breadwinner? What about single-father families or families with two fathers? Will your Father’s Day gift be a horrible tie, a cigar, or a colorful Hawaiian shirt? What about donating to a nonprofit that supports fathers throughout the year?

We want to encourage everyone to think about fathers throughout the year. Think about what it means to be a first-time father without the confidence, knowledge, skills, or experience to care for a newborn. Consider the young man without a job who wants to be a part of his child’s life. There are men in the military, incarcerated, and in other countries who are unable to physically be with their children. What will life be like for them when they are reunited with their children? Who will help them readjust? Who will ease the awkwardness, tension, and other feelings that long absences create?

Nonprofits help fill the gap and when appropriate they help reunite men with their children. There are nonprofits that support single fathers; that provide vocational and professional training to help fathers increase their earning power; and that help fathers overcome homelessness, drug addiction or alcoholism. Nonprofits help fathers overcome a history of suffering from or inflicting domestic violence. Many focus on new fathers, and still others focus on those with a history of estrangement from their children. Nonprofits provide support to LGBTQ+ families who may feel isolated from “traditional” families within their neighborhood. Faith-based organizations strengthen men’s spiritual understanding, encourage forgiveness of self and others, and share skills and resources that strengthen a man’s ability to become the father he always wanted to be.

One example of a nonprofit that is committed to families and fatherhood is Families Matter in Memphis. Their AFIRM initiative is an example of a comprehensive program that supports fathers emotionally, with relationship skills, and with job training aimed at increasing the earnings of low-income fathers. They help fathers navigate the child support system so that dads can pay child support consistently. They are positive in their approach – they “make good fathers better.” And they do it with love.

Here’s our Father’s Day recommendation: what better way to assure the stability and growth of our future, than by providing continuous resources to men who want to be active fathers. There is something each of us can do to help ensure that fathers have the skills, resources, and support they need to be actively engaged with their children. Let’s honor our fathers – young and old – by making a gift in their name to help nonprofits step up and make a difference in the growth and development of fatherhood. As always, it doesn’t have to stop with you: encourage your friends, family members, and associates to match or surpass what you are doing. We hope that this can become a tradition for you and your family going forward.

Copyright 2024 – Mel and Pearl Shaw of Saad&Shaw – Comprehensive Fund Development Services. Let us help you plan for 2024! Video and phone conferencing services are always available. Call us at (901) 522-8727.

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