“Two years ago we attended the UP & Away Charity Gala as representatives of the Calgary Catholic Teachers Charity committee. The evening had a profound impact on us. We listened to a recent graduate of the Louise Dean Centre speak about her journey as a single mother and the integral role that Catholic Family Service played in her growth. Her story touched our hearts in ways we are still unwrapping. It was a call to action to us.
That very evening, we had a discussion with CEO Patricia Jones about the important role of young fathers in the light of the presentation. We had a strong belief that the involvement of young dads could only be beneficial, particularly if they were given the skills to be a positive presence in their child’s life now and in the future. We wanted to find a way to give the greatest gift we have – ourselves and our time. The eventual outcome was we were able to provide and serve a graduation dinner for the Fathers Moving Forward program. It was a gift that at first we saw as giving to the fathers, but it has truly been a gift to the two of us.
We have served dinner now on two occasions. The people involved in the program welcomed us with open arms and helped us understand how appreciated our time and effort was. It’s hard to put into words how much we felt blessed to provide even this humble gift. We sat with the fathers and their families and listened to their stories, their desire for the best for their children and the respect that was accorded to one and all. We could feel a sense of pride in each of the participants about how much they had learned and grown as a person and a father. They were better prepared to take on the lifelong responsibility than we were when we first became parents!
Collectively we have the ability to bring hope and light to those who need to see a way through the darkness they may be experiencing. There is a power in the grace that is given and received when we reach a hand out to those who need a hand to hold. We love that Catholic Family Service is there to help those in need regardless of belief and circumstance. We would encourage anyone who has something to give to reach out for the opportunity and grab it with both hands.”