It is is Father’s Day. It is also a chance to shower those men in your community with love and appreciation of all forms for the challenges they endure each day to help support their families. This day is for all the fathers in your community, including those who are in crisis and vulnerable.
Here at Safe Families, we celebrate all the father’s out there, with a heartbeat to shower them with the help and love they need to continue raising their amazing children.
History of Father’s Day
A quick search on Wikipedia—clearly the most reliable source of information—allows one to discover a brief general history of the origin of Father’s Day within the United States.
Sonora Smart Dodd, the founder of the holiday, began the celebration in 1910 at a YMCA in Spokane, Washington. She got the idea from a sermon that she heard on Mother’s Day at her church in 1909.
Her father, a Civil War veteran, William Jackson Smart, was a single parent who raised all six of his children on his own—she wanted to honor his efforts. She told her pastor the importance of recognizing fatherhood as well, and initially suggested the first Sunday in June as a day to celebrate them. However, in order to prepare the sermon well, they postponed it until the third Sunday. The following year, she prepared an event at her local YMCA for the celebration, making it an annual one.
Sonora went out of her way to celebrate her father, who single handedly raised her and her five siblings on his own. There are many today who still face this challenge, and who need the aid of those around them to help them through it.
Her story and reason to celebrate inspires all here at Safe Families to continue to surround the fathers in the communities around us from all walks of life, and support them to raise amazing children.
One hard-workin’ father
Our Greater Milwaukee area chapter received an intake call from a single father during the height of the quarantine period as things were changing from “social distancing” to “lock down orders”. This being a weekend call, the single father had left a voicemail, which caught the attention of the team on call, pressing them to return the call immediately. The call gave the team more crucial information about the father and his situation.
This father worked incredibly hard to ensure his son was well cared for and safe, as well as guiding his son on a successful academic track. As he was working in the kitchen at a retirement home, his hours were fairly set in stone, as well as the procedures for health. He had just received a raise, which had caused him to lose the food share benefits, as he was no longer eligible. He was struggling to find a way to be home, provide, and keep his job. He had no extended family in the area or friends who were able to help him out. To make matters worse, the schools had closed, leaving him torn between keeping his job and leaving his son alone for the majority of the day.
They talked about hosting options, with a lot of big contingencies due to COVID-19. Specifically, He was unable to see his son until the restrictions were lifted to keep everyone healthy. As he had personally suffered many childhood traumas and is very protective of his son, he claimed the he would rather deal with the unemployment, risking possible homelessness, than be separated from his son that long. Safe Families Milwaukee was determined to work something out, and God gave them an alternative idea to serve him and his son.
They talked to a host family with a child who was the same age as the father’s son, who was willing to check in via videocall numerous times a day with his son and provide extra food for the family. A neighbor upstairs was also willing to be an emergency contact, making the arrangement much safer. After arranging these things, they called him back to share the plan.
However, God had a plan of his own– the father had shared that his adult daughter decided to move from Chicago to Milwaukee to help him. That was an even better plan.
Safe Families continues to support those in crisis of all family structures and is determined to aid those in crisis each day.
At Safe Families, we encourage you to continue to celebrate the fathers in your community, not only with outings, gifts, and cards, but with labor and service. Our ability to help those in your community would not be possible without the amazing donors and our hard-working, fantastic volunteers.
As you celebrate fatherhood in your community, we encourage you to step out and surround those fathers in crisis with us, giving them a little extra love.