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600 men show up to support students without fathers at 'breakfast with dads' event

A school learned many young boys weren't signing up because they didn't have a father figure.

600 men show up to support students without fathers at 'breakfast with dads' event
Cover Image Source: YouTube | CBS Texas

School events with mom and dad are core memories for many children. However, not everyone is fortunate enough to have a father figure. When a Dallas school organized a "breakfast with dad" event, they found a unique solution for kids without dads. Discovering that 150 children weren't signing up because they lacked a father figure, Kristina Dove, one of the organizers, sought 50 dads to volunteer and spend the day with these middle schoolers, according to ABC News.


Incredibly, more than 600 men showed up to spend time with the kids. "It's a way to engage the students' family during the school day and it's especially important for middle school students," Dove told ABC News. She initially posted a notice on behalf of Billy Earl Dade Middle School on her social media, but a friend encouraged her to make it public. Overnight, she received hundreds of responses, and within four days, 400 mentors had signed up. By the day of the event, 600 men had shown up, far exceeding expectations.


"[I] felt compelled to sign up and show up and support the young men who may not have a dad or mentor in their lives," said Archie Nettles, a motivational speaker and active Dallas community member, to TODAY Parents. Nettles, an entrepreneur and army veteran, added, "The students were in complete shock when they entered the auditorium and saw the 600 men there all waiting for them. They were excited to talk to the men and ask them questions," Dove pointed out. The event consisted of several ice-breaker activities along with breakfast. 


One activity was organized by Jamil "Tie Man" Tucker. The event involved the men teaching 150 boys how to tie a half-Windsor knot. It was quite an emotional moment. "I started crying behind my camera. The back of my camera was fogging up," Stephanie Drenka, an event photographer, told ABC News. "You’ll never forget as a young man the first time you tie a tie. So many of our young men never experience that rite of passage," the photographer added. “When a young person sees someone other than their teacher take interest in them, it inspires them. That’s what we want to see happen,” Rev. Donald Parish Jr., pastor of True Lee Missionary Baptist Church and the event organizer, said as per The Washington Post.


“I didn’t even know that I was going to be able to do the breakfast and I am leaving with a mentor," a kid excitedly told Dove. "He was excited to say he now had a caring adult on his team — someone who had a genuine interest in him and, most importantly, was also willing to make the investment," the woman added. The organizer now hopes that these men will continue to engage with the community on a regular basis. She planned on inviting them to mentorship programs. "On a larger scale, we hope to help cities across the nation replicate these community engagement strategies and impact the lives of more children," the organizer expressed. About 800 boys attended the event and walked out with a positive outlook.


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