Recently, the DadTalk blog recognized how the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is celebrating fatherhood with their Fathers Day 2011 events held at local public housing authorities. Here are some thoughts, quotes and pictures from people who attended the events. See even more comments and thoughts from Part 1 of this post.
The kids had a great time as they enjoyed bounce houses, face painting, and a number of other activities. I also enjoyed the fact that Dallas Housing Authority brought in a picture booth for fathers and their children to take fun pictures together. Two former NFL players, Scott Turner (Washington Redskins) and Ryan Neufeld (Buffalo Bills) representing the NFL Players’ Association gave inspirational speeches that stressed the importance of the active involvement of fathers in the lives of their children.
- Regenia Hawkins, Fort Worth Public Housing Field Office Director
Photo: FWHA employee helps winner of the game select a prize
We sent a message to fathers that DC Housing Authority is seriously committed to providing support, services and interventions that help them overcome obstacles and have an opportunity to establish or restore a relationship with his children. I was heartened to see that fathers participating in the event were serious and active participants throughout the day, and definitely shatters the stereotype. In fact, seminars lasted longer than scheduled because fathers asked so many questions and were very engaged.
-Adrianne Todman Executive Director District, Columbia Housing Authority
Each child seemed to be beaming at the opportunity to proclaim his or hers as the best dad in the world. One young man left us all speechless. He just turned 6 years old and just finished kindergarten. He read from a full typed page about how great his father is and how they have special time together every day when his dad takes him to school. He was followed by a young middle school girl. But right in the middle of her remarks, the 6 year old previous speaker got up and ran to his father from behind the podium proclaiming, "My Daddy is the best Daddy, My Daddy is the best Daddy!" Both fathers were bursting with pride of course! Imagine that! Kids at a Public Housing Event, fighting over who has the best DAD!
- Ed Jennings, Jr. Atlanta Regional Administrator
I was blessed to have my son, Jered, attend the event and witness the variety of activities for children and fathers ranging from face painting, arts and crafts to basketball, kick ball, dancing and a live horseback riding demonstration by the Buffalo Soldiers Greater Atlanta Chapter. Additionally, a resource room with representatives from Gate City Nursery, Atlanta Public Schools, Atlanta Workforce Development Agency, Center for Working Families, Atlanta Community Food Bank, West End Medical Center, Habitat for Humanity, Atlanta Legal Aid, Fulton County DFACs, and the United Way was available to connect fathers to services and resources which eliminate barriers to upward mobility and family success. All fathers in attendance were deeply appreciative to be able to be in the company of and introduce their children to some of the prominent guest speakers. As I addressed the attendees, I felt a deep sense of pride in not only being a father but also being a part of HUD’s wonderful mission of creating strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality, affordable homes for all. Regardless of obstacles faced in the past, fathers and their children learned that patience and hope are the keys that will open the doors to the continued productive presence vital to their most important legacy – their children.
- Jerryl Bennett, Director Atlanta Regional Office
Photo: FWHA Youth in the audience are selected to spell out the word FATHER.
National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse