December2013 – PDF download of article
Fathers must turn their hearts to their children. Fathers need a heart-fix for their children and the children of the community. No child should be left behind because a healthy, dedicated man is absent. But they are. They are left behind every day in academic achievement, social skills, mental peace, behavioral stability, and financial provision. This is not right.
In a community meeting sponsored by a government agency, the focus turned to promoting legislation that would impact families. There was no thought of a positive or pro-family approach. This group is ready to spend hundreds of thousands of community dollars to limit fathers’ involvement with their children and block effective family stability. I was stunned and wept as I thought, “Who is really making this real for legislators? Who is turning their hearts to the power of fathers and family?” We must prevail. We must. GIVE NOW!
Great news, the gifts we received this year changed individual lives and community morality. That’s right, at CTI priority goes to efforts that hammer both. We must change the family environment in our nation.
Divorce and disease, abortion and abandonment, addictions and abuse all plague in abounding proportion. Our nation needs help. Generational solutions must be applied. You and I do it, together. It does not happen without your support.
2013 – It takes time. It takes dollars. It takes tenacity.
- Prayermetro after 10 solid years of community wide involvement makes a daring move to engage deeply in fatherless areas and legislator impact as the Community Transformation Initiative.
- 1061 men are reached face to face in the OKC community across denominations and cultural delineations with a goal to reach 500. Effective engagement with Tabitha Baptist, Eagles’ Crest, Life Church NW, Life Church Edmond, Integris Men’s Health Fair, East Zion District Men’s Association, Tulakes Elementary. We reached double our goal.
- Established education based outreach in at risk schools with 90%+ fatherless homes.
- Established congregation based outreach in at risk zones of 50%+ fatherless.
- 3400 legislators in 33 states are pinged weekly during session. This is up from 1200 in 13 states in 2012. Our email in-basket fills with “chaplaincy” requests for prayer every week.
- Hundreds of thousands were reached through effective “FRONT PAGE” features in the Oklahoman and NEWSOK.com. (search Phil Larson)
- The online and social media engine engages thousands of touches every week .
- Served as a faith-based organization representative on the Oklahoma Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
- Our simple launch budget was met through a few regular monthly donors and a few special gift donors.
|“Are you a dad?”
This was the third child to ask me. What a strange question.
“I don’t have a dad,” said her voice.
“I’ve never had a dad,” said her eyes.
“I don’t know what a dad looks like,” said her soul.
Dads are like unicorns in this neighborhood. You read about them in books at school, but you’ve never talked to one or rode on his back or petted his mane. You’ve seen some men, but none really act like the stories in the books at school. Those are fairy tales.
“Are you a dad?”
Now there was hope in her voice.
“Yes, I’m a dad and were going to bring more dads to your school.”
Dark eyes turned bright. A huge smile broadened on her face as she turned back to the herd of other kids who have never seen a dad. She was the brave scout sent to see if this was real. Now she could report. “Dads are real and they are coming to our school.”
Her heart shouted louder than her voice. “Maybe there is a dad for me?”
NOW WE NEED TO GROW! VISION 2014
“Opportunities are multiplied as they are seized.” Sun Tzu
- Extend effectively with significant increase in Watch DOGS programs that are community sponsored in at risk school districts GIVE NOW!
- Publish new book and new Dad’s University curriculum “Are You A Dad?” Based on research, scriptural wisdom, community feedback, and positive principles.
- Extend effectively with current partnerships and building partnerships. East OKC outreach to 18-35 year old men. South Oklahoma / North Texas Father’s Day Weekend, joint program with Cooke County Texas District Attorney, more to come
- Triple the budget to get physical office space open, administrative assistance, engage more volunteers and active community leaders, keep the fire burning hot, update legislators on effective ways to promote fathering and families.
What will it take? Vision 2014
- 100 Regular Monthly Supporters at $40 a month can enable daily operations.
- 10 Special Supporters at $2,500 can enable extension into new education and community programs.
- 5 Key supporters at $5,000 can get new curriculum published and distributed.
- 2 Outstanding Supporters at $10,000 can get legislators updated with family friendly approaches and information.
- Special East OKC Project for May needs $40,000!
- Special South Oklahoma / North Texas Project for June needs $40,000
- Special Jesus House project for men in recovery and their children needs $8,000.
Where do you fit in 2014? You can make a great start happen for us through prioritizing your end- of-year giving to Community Transformation Initiative. What you have given has worked. It will continue to work. That is our commitment and promise.
December2013 – Downloadable Version of This Article for Print and Distribution