The time is now. Men are taking the lead and showing that the time is now to show up and show out for our sons. We can dig it!!! #Salute
When the folks at Billy Earl Dade Middle School in Dallas decided to put on their first-ever “Breakfast with Dads” event for the boy students…they quickly realized that there would be more students than dads. There weren’t even enough father figures, let alone blood relatives, to make the event a success.
It seemed the whole thing might be doomed.
But they still wanted the event to happen. “It's a way to engage the students’ family during the school day and it's especially important for middle school students,” Kristina Dove, one of the event’s organizers, told ABC News.
Though the odds were stacked against them, Dove just knew there had to be a way to make it successful.
But the truth was… she knew that many of the 150 students, aged 11 to 13, might be eating their breakfasts alone. That absolutely could not happen! So Dove, and Pastor Donald Parish Jr., both put up pleas on Facebook asking for mentors to come in as stand-in dads.
They expected maybe 50 responses. (Spoiler alert: They got a lot more than 50 responses!)
“We knew that the majority of our students were not going to have dads present,” Parish said. “Many students don’t have any males figures around, or at least the kind who would show up for a school event like this.”
But in an amazing turn of events and a stunning show of caring and support, 600 men showed up to Billy Earl Dade Middle School for “Breakfast with Dads”!!!
It wasn’t just eggs and toast, though. The organizers of the event put on a variety of icebreaker activities, event photographer Stephanie Drenka told ABC News.
Jamil Tucker, one of the volunteers, gave each man a tie so they could teach the students one of the most important, but often overlooked, rites of passage. It was really touching. “I started crying behind my camera,” Drenka said. “The back of my camera was fogging up.”
One mentor wore a jacket with a message on the back: Our Sons Matter. It put into words what the whole spirit of the event was about.
So what’s next? Dove and Parish hope the mentors who showed up for “Breakfast with Dads” will continue their good deeds.
“Our next step is to bring the guys together again and have them participate in various opportunities for mentorship,” she said.
We think this is a great idea for schools. Do you agree? Weigh in here!