On its 20th anniversary, All Pro Dad is commissioning new research on the impact of fatherlessness
All Pro Dad, a program of Family First, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this month. For two decades, All Pro Dad has helped millions of dads love their families well.
"The issue is not that we don't have great dads in America," said President Mark Merrill. "The issue is fatherlessness, and that we don't have enough dads showing up for their greatest role."
Statistically, 33% of children grow up without a father and 71% of mothers who give birth under the age of 25 are single. Those statistics equate to more than 18 million children who live in father-absent homes.
This Father's Day, Merrill along with NFL Hall of Famer Tony Dungy, want to celebrate All Pro Dads who are committing to the next generation and challenge them to be a hero to the child who calls them dad and to a child who has no one to call dad.
"We believe that present fathers are the solution to many problems facing our youth," said Merrill. "But, not every child has a positive father figure. We can all do more by just simply connecting with a young man or young woman who doesn't have a father figure in their daily lives. It might mean coaching a sports team, bringing a child home for dinner to see a family sit around the table or showing up at an All Pro Dads Day school breakfast chapter."
When All Pro Dad began twenty years ago, the fact that 70% of juvenile delinquents did not have a biological father present in the home was indicative of the impact of fatherlessness. Today, All Pro Dad is commissioning a national study to be released this fall to uncover the true impact of fatherlessness in our nation 20 years later.
"Thousands of fathers have taken intentional steps to be a positive influence on both their children and communities," said Dungy. "Those men are heroes. Now, we are asking these men and those wishing to become heroes to accept our challenge by being the solution to issues caused by fatherlessness."
He continues: "My wife and I were called to adopt children who needed a home. Whether fostering, adopting, mentoring, or simply providing a hug—every father can do more for one more child."
There are hundreds of All Pro Dads Day chapters across the state of Florida and nationally. What began as a conversation between Merrill and Dungy has grown into one of the world's largest parenting organizations.
This Father's Day, All Pro Dad is challenging every man to be a hero to the child who calls him dad and a hero to a child with no one to call dad. Here are three ways to accept the challenge:
Join the All Pro Dad team by:
- Signing up for the Play of the Day
- Mentor a child through an All Pro Dad school program
- Foster or adopt a child
Learn how you can be a hero. Visit www.allprodad.com/jointheteam.
ABOUT FAMILY FIRST
Family First provides parenting, marriage, and relational truth that helps people love their families well. Family First is a national nonprofit organization that reaches thousands of parents each day through its three primary programs: All Pro Dad, iMOM, and the Family Minute with Mark Merrill.
In partnership with the Florida Department of Children and Families, All Pro Dad is using its platform to help find foster and adoptive parents for children in need. Through its partnership with the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence, All Pro Dad helps further the Coalition's mission of stopping domestic violence.
ABOUT THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES (DCF):
The Florida Department of Children and Families works in partnership with local communities to protect the vulnerable, promote strong and economically self-sufficient families, and advance personal and family recovery and resiliency.
ABOUT THE FLORIDA COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE (FCADV):
The mission of the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence is to work towards ending violence through public awareness, policy development, and support for Florida's domestic violence centers.