One of the incredible families in our AAF program just adopted their son! We are so honored to be a part of this family’s journey as they foster a loving and healthy home for their children. God is the author of adoption. This is a true reflection of what it looks like to not only treat someone with love and care but to actually bring them into your home and make them family! We praise the Lord for what He is doing through the Slavik family.
For the last 8 months Man Up Tampa Bay has engaged in a pilot program aimed at breaking the chains of generational fatherlessness among those who have aged-out of foster care.
Who are these men? They are young men ages 18-24 who have spent at least some time in foster care and are growing into adulthood. Statistics tell us that these young men (and women!) are at far greater risk for negative societal outcomes than their peers who did not encounter foster care. For instance,
- 1 in 2 are homeless1
- 90% with 5 or more placements have encountered the justice system2
- 1 in 2 are unemployed3
These realities stack the deck against these fatherless young men in ways that most of us cannot understand. To really understand their reality we must enter into it.
This is what Man Up is doing with our Authentic Masculinity Program – domestic. One of the biggest ways we can help these young men is to provide them with an opportunity to work. Not only does this help them financially, but they are living out a God-ordained calling to provide for themselves.
This past weekend we invited some of the young men up to the Ranch to hear how a former aged-out foster kid used his circumstances as motivation to propel him forwards. That “kid” is now a grown man who sold a business up north with over 100 employees cutting 4000 lawns each week. Man Up is partnering with him to offer lawn care training to our young men at the Ranch.
We also spent time just hanging out and furthering the relationship by doing what every red-blooded American male wants to do – RACE! We had a fantastic time go-karting, talking trash to one another, and asking the young men about their summer plans, what goals they have, and how we can pray for and encourage them.
This program is designed to break the chains of generational fatherlessness, so we’re just getting started. The relationship—earning and keeping trust— is the most important thing.
Our 3rd annual Fuel the Fight fundraiser was a huge success here at Man Up Tampa Bay! We had just over 160 attendees. We had the honor of hearing from FL Speaker of the House Chris Sprowls and our keynote speaker, White House Appointee, Commissioner Jack Brewer.
Man Up Tampa Bay’s very own Jeff Ford was able to speak at the capitol of Florida alongside Speaker Sprowls and Commissioner Brewer. The main theme of Fuel the Fight 2022 was, of course, the great importance of fathers and father figures in our community. Speaker Sprowls shared how the state of Florida is leading our nation in the fight for the fatherless by unanimously passing HB7065. Commissioner Brewer spoke about being bold as a community and not shying away from this fight.
We also premiered one of our most recent videos called We Need Fathers!. You can watch this video below.
If you are interested in fighting alongside of us in the fight for the fatherless, please go to https://manupandgo.org/fight117/
For the last two years, Man Up Tampa Bay has applied for the 100 Shares Tampa Bay grant. Our first year, we made it to the finalist stage and did not receive the grant. The Lord still provided the amount that we had requested for! This year, we applied for $100,000. This $100,000 will help us create resources for churches to mobilize men to fight for the fatherless in their communities. We will be creating content, trainings, and more to make this process as replicable of an experience as possible.
As of April 22nd, 2022, Man Up Tampa Bay won the $100,000 grant to mobilize men for generations in the fight for the fatherless. Thank you to 100 Shares for your faith in what God is going to do through our ministry. Thank you Jesus for how you provide and guide us as we seek to obey your calling.
As we approach the third quarter of our Man Up 100 initiative, our men gathered together to get updates on serving opportunities, encouragement towards one another, and to recruit more men to fight for the fatherless.
MAN UP SPRINGFIELD
MAN UP TAMPA BAY
MAN UP KANSAS CITY
This weekend we had a Life Skills weekend with the young men in AMP’d. Life Skills weekends are where we bring the young men out to spend the weekend having meaningful conversations, learning real life skills, and engaging with our experienced men.
These weekends are important for our young men to gain perspective, be heard, and build their future goals. We want to help guide them as they navigate this next chapter of their lives.
Our gatherings across the U.S. were a huge success. We are so happy to see men engaging in the fight for their local fatherless children. These men have not only acknowledged the call of James 1:27 but they are now acting on it! Here are some photos of the gatherings below:
MAN UP SPRINGFIELD
MAN UP TAMPA BAY
MAN UP KANSAS CITY
The effects of adverse childhood experiences are very evident in the lives of children in foster care. As man up looks to engage this community we believe it is important to equip our mentors and others with the proper tools. We have hosted and will keep hosting trauma trainings in order to ensure our adults are well equipped on how to assist those affected by trauma.
This is why May is so important, because it’s National Foster Care Month! We need to Fuel the Fight for the fatherless just like we did last May, if you would like to help us fight for the fatherless please click here.