Some 600 men showed up to support students with absent fathers at a Texas middle school’s Breakfast with Dads event after just 50 volunteers were sought.
This heartwarming act of kindness occurred last month at Billy Earl Dade Middle School in Dallas.
The middle school has a population of nearly 900 students and about 90 per cent of those pupils come from low-income families.
About 150 male students, ages 11 to 13, signed up for the Breakfast with Dads event, which was held on December 14, 2017, but Kristina Dove, the senior partner relations manager at Big Thought, a youth development nonprofit, wasn’t sure if every student would have a father present during the program.
She immediately jumped into action, using social media to call for volunteers for the event.
‘But there is nothing like having a male present in the form of a mentor. We are [in] need of at least 50 or more additional male mentors who can devote 1 hour of their Wednesday morning next week to this cause,’ she added.
And on the day of the program, event organizers were overcome with emotion when 600 men showed up to support their students.
‘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,’ the Rev Donald Parish Jr., pastor of True Lee Missionary Baptist Church and the event organizer, told the Dallas Morning News.
Jason Rodriguez, the assistant chief of police for the Dallas Independent School District Police Department, tweeted about the event.
Words cannot describe the impact mentoring youth can have on both you and your mentee. Powerful to see a community of fellow men and fathers come together to wrap their arms around or young men. Thank you for having me out,’ Rodriguez wrote.
He posted photos of himself with four students smiling from ear-to-ear. Rodriguez is also seen showing one of the young boys how to tie a necktie.
Stephanie Drenka, a Dallas photographer and blogger, gave details of the event on her website.
‘I was privileged to photograph the event at Kristina’s request. It was a miracle any of the pictures came out in focus, because I could barely see clearly through the tears streaming down my face and fogged-up glasses,’ she recalled on her blog.