Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
As promised yesterday, here are some more highlights of what we did this Father's Day to promote our work of connecting fathers to their children, heart to heart.
- We released the sixth edition of our flagship research resource, Father Facts. This story from The Washington Times puts Father Facts in the context of the fatherhood news of the day. Father Facts 6, like all previous editions of Father Facts, has been distributed to key members of Congress, government officials, and members of the press. You can learn more about Father Facts 6 and order it here.
- NFI president, Roland C. Warren, spoke on a panel at the HBO premiere of The Kids Grow Up, a documentary about a dad learning to let go of his daughter as she leaves for college. NFI was an official non-profit partner for the film. The documentary aired on HBO on Father's Day, and will air again tonight at 9:30 eastern. If you want to see it, but don't have HBO, buy the DVD and a portion of the sales will go to NFI!
- We launched our new "Be a Dad" television PSA (public service advertisement). Be a Dad inspires fathers to spend time with their children. Be a Dad has been distributed to virtually every TV station in the country, so look out for it on your local stations. In fact, if you see Be a Dad on TV, send us an email and let us know which station you saw it on (we may send you a free book or something if you do this).
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
We joke around here at NFI that on Father's Day, like one of those blowout sales, "Everything must go, go, go!"
- We gave Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat superstar, a 2011 Fatherhood Award™. Here he is on CNN on Father's Day talking about the award and about being a dad.
- We honored LS1 Christopher Cady, US Navy, with the 2011 Military Fatherhood Award™ in a ceremony near his base, Naval Base Kitsap, in Bremerton, WA. Cady was also honored at the White House as a Champion of Change. Read about Chris on the White House website here.
- We gave Nissan a Fatherhood Award™ for its funny and heartwarming TV spot, "Baby." Go to Nissan's news site to see the ad and a photo of NFI president, Roland C. Warren, handing the Fatherhood Award™ to VP of Nissan Marketing John Brancheau, who posted on this blog last week!
Friday, June 17, 2011
This post was submitted by NFI's Manager of Outreach, Brittany DeFrehn. Brittany is currently out on maternity leave enjoying her new precious little girl, Adalynn.
Just a month ago my first child was born, a little girl, and thinking about this upcoming Father's Day makes me smile. I realize that in my life, it is the first time I will get to celebrate father's day. You may not be surprised for a first time father to be so excited, but I'm not the father...I'm the mother.
You see, I have never celebrated Father's Day before because my dad was never part of my life. As a child, Father's Day was a day for cookouts and for power tool ads on TV. It was a day for the other kids to make cards for their daddy's at school. What's sad is, I know that I am not alone in this experience. I know that there is an entire generation of children evolving into parents who will only now celebrate Father's Day as fathers or mothers themselves - An entire generation who only now know the meaning of daddy.
I don't know how you will celebrate Father's Day, but I do hope you have a reason to celebrate - every child and adult deserves a loving father. I know I plan to celebrate my daughter's amazing dad, and for the first time, I plan on making a card from a little girl to her daddy.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
The result of the NBA Championship Finals on Sunday may not have been what Dwyane Wade and his Miami Heat teammates had hoped for, but Dwyane Wade knows that there are more important things in life than championship rings – his two sons.
Dwyane Wade recently gained full custody of his young sons, Zaire and Zion. Despite the time constraints of being a professional athlete, Wade’s number one priority is being involved in his sons’ lives. It’s for his commitment to his sons that NFI is recognizing Dwyane Wade with a Fatherhood Award. (Click here to read the press release.)
In response to receiving the Fatherhood Award, Wade said, "I am so thrilled to be given this award, especially because it is in recognition of the most important thing in my life, my kids. Nothing in the world compares to the happiness that they bring me each and every day. I know that my biggest responsibility is to be there for them 100% and to demonstrate to other fathers that it is possible to be a strong male figure in your children's lives regardless of what else is going on in your life."
Congratulations to Dwyane Wade! Thanks for being a great role model of an involved, responsible, and committed father!
Update (9/16/11): On August 25th, at his Wade's World Weekend basketball camp, Dwyane Wade was presented with his Fatherhood Award by NFI president Roland C. Warren (photo).
Today, NFI’s Vice President of Public Relations, Vince DiCaro is in Bremerton Washington, awarding our 2011 Military Fatherhood Award winner, Chris Cady. As we have said, Chris embodies a wonderful example of a military dad who displays an ongoing commitment and dedication to his son while balancing military life and mentoring other military fathers/children, specifically those with special needs. Vince will present the award to Chris in front of his Commanding Officer, family and peers, with Press at the ready. A truly special occasion.
But honestly, what’s so special about this award presentation?
While at first glance there doesn’t seem to be anything entirely special about an award presentation on our winner’s military base, it truly symbolizes so much more. Every day, many of America’s 1.8 million military children struggle with difficult situations and emotions that are foreign to non-military children. They watch their dad’s plane take off to a distant land and agonize that they may never return.
Have you ever considered that data on military children shows that they experience many of the same outcomes as children who live in father absent homes? When you really think about it, it makes sense. Military children experience increased depression, heightened behavior problems, lower academic achievement, etc.
It’s for this reason, that NFI is sure to honor military dads - in front of their peers – to encourage all military dads to go the extra mile and be a dad to their kids, and even to other children, in their area of influence.
Going beyond the award...
In fact, NFI goes beyond just giving one special military dad an award each year. We’re committed to working with the military to increase the number of installations who offer fatherhood programs to educate military dads and provide them with the skill-building resources they need to be involved, responsible, and committed dads, before, during, and after deployment.
We can all agree that our military servicepersons deserve our utmost support, and it’s our honor, with the help of donors and supporters, that we build up NFI’s “Strong Fathers, Strong Families Fund” to provide valuable fatherhood programming to military installations, which in turn provides innovative ways for military children to stay connected to dad while he’s deployed. Consider supporting this worthy cause.
Military children are the true award winners when military dads are equipped to be the best dads they can be.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
This is a guest post by Jon Brancheau, Vice President, Nissan Marketing. Jon will accept a Fatherhood Award from National Fatherhood Initiative this Friday, recognizing Nissan for their father-friendly ad "Baby." (Click here to watch the ad). Jon is a father of three and shared his thoughts with us as part of NFI's Be A Dad campaign.
To Be a Dad is an awesome, incredible, and honored responsibility.
I’m the father of three kids… blessed with my two boys through adoption and my daughter shortly thereafter. My kids are 12, 15 and 17 now and in reflection of what I’ve learned, I would say that the key for me has simply been “balance.” Fatherhood is all about balance… just like the guy in our “Baby” ad.
A balanced obligation between the kids and the workplace is a good start. Prioritizing the time for my kids sporting events and recitals has proved important. I want to be visible for them at these events and will go out of my way to attend some during inconvenient business hours. Trust me, they get it and appreciate it. In the end, I try not to let my kids come up short on the “balance of work-life” scale.
Staying with the idea of balance… How about the simple balance between trying to teach your kids vs. listening to them? Listening has worked for me so far and the kids continue to teach me something new every single day.
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of accompanying LS1 Christopher Cady, US Navy, to a special ceremony at the White House honoring great dads. Cady is, of course, National Fatherhood Initiative’s 2011 Military Fatherhood Award winner, and, as part of its Champions of Change initiative, the White House wanted to further honor him during its week of activities leading up to Father’s Day this Sunday.
It was quite an event. What struck me the most was the incredible stories that dads told of overcoming enormous obstacles to not only be involved in their own children’s lives, but to be “double duty dads” to other children in their communities. One father was a gang leader who was incarcerated; another witnessed horrible violence in his home growing up; another was abandoned by both of his parents… the list goes on. Yet, in the face of these huge obstacles, from which many people would have turned and run, they hung in there for the simplest, yet most important reason in the world… their kids.
Of course, there is our very own Christopher Cady. As you may know from his nomination video, Chris is the primary caretaker for his severely disabled son, Joshua. Chris is Joshua’s eyes, ears, arms and legs. He is everything to his son.
Being a dad can be tough. Being a military dad can be even tougher. Being a military dad with a special needs child… well, you get the point. But Chris has shown an enormous amount of perseverance, and I finally have a hint as to why.
Having met Chris in person for the first time yesterday, I couldn’t help but notice how calm of a guy he is. He takes everything in stride. He is always pleasant. In other words, he has exactly the kind of patient attitude he needs in order to be the kind of dad his son needs.
That is a point we make here at NFI a lot. Roland, NFI’s president, said on The Oprah Winfrey Show a few years ago, “You can’t be the kind of dad you wanted to have. You can’t be the kind of dad you want to be. You have to be the kind of dad your children need you to be.” I don’t think Chris saw that episode of Oprah, but he is certainly living by those words.
And not only that, he is working hard to make life better for all military dads, especially ones with special needs children. He is a Command Exceptional Family Member Coordinator and helps service members seek out information and resources for their children. On a local community level, he is a mentor for the Military Special Needs Group, the Special Education Advisory Committee, and the Kitsap Fathers Network. And more…
Chris didn’t just stop with his own son – he realized that to move from “good to great” he would have to help all of the other sons and daughters out there who deserve good dads.
In other words, he is a Champion of Change.
A video of Chris’ day at the Champions for Change event will be available at WhiteHouse.gov next week. Chris will be presented with his 2011 Military Fatherhood Award tomorrow near his base in Bremerton, WA.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Clearly, I’m not a dad, nor will I ever know what it’s like to be one. However, I do happen to know what it feels like when a dad takes time to “Be a Dad” to his daughter. Let me share what I mean.
My dad was always there for me, through good times and bad. And through all the trouble I got in, again and again during my teenage years, he was still there, being a dad.
While he bailed me out of my fare share of “pickles” he always made it a point to remind me of his expectations with love. So, at times, amidst what may have seemed like letting me get away with something, a lesson was learned. A challenge was always given for me to "show myself trustworthy," and I would be trusted. If I kept demonstrating the same poor behavior, trust could not be built. And it was through trust, that he would be willing to give me more responsibility in the future.
I believe it was these key learning moments as I was growing up that impacted me most. I’m older and married now, and my dad is still there for me, being a dad, helping and encouraging me when needed.
I can’t help but wonder if he and I could have rebuilt trust – and more importantly, if rebuilding trust would have been as important to me – had he not handled those teachable moments the way he did.
Thus, I encourage all dads to Be a Dad even through life’s ups and downs. But most importantly, Be a Dad who makes the downs count.
Friday, June 10, 2011
Thursday, June 9, 2011
NFI has launched a brand new PSA (public service advertising) campaign called "Be a Dad." Take a look: