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.
- We had 20 come on Monday to our Q3 Gathering – we talked about our mission to fight for the fatherless, we celebrated our past projects, and talked about some upcoming spring clean up projects.
- Last month two of our members (Brian Varney and Mark Stern) replaced a leaky sink for a single mom in our program. Now she doesn’t have to empty the ever filling bucket of water under her drain!
- Last month one of our members (Paul Banister) took two of our AAF kids out shoe shopping. He wanted to give these young men a cool new pair of shoes that they could be proud of. Paul even went on to tell them that if they could show him good grades next semester that he would take them out shopping again.
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
Thank you for being a part of the Fall Football Fling!
We want to start off by saying that none of this is possible without Jesus. God has called us to be a light, to stand for justice, and to love the orphan and widow. Man Up is dedicated to this call. We are glad and thankful that you are also dedicated to this call with us!
We had an incredible turn out of over 170 individuals which made up 90 families. (Not including online attendees) You helped us raise over $66,000.00!!! This is the most we have ever raised at our Fall Football Fling and the first time that every square from the Big Board was taken.
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
As Thanksgiving approaches, we understand that many families have been working so hard to do everything they can to provide some sort of normalcy for children in foster care. We also understand that some families have a massive list of things going on even during the holidays.
Our Man Up teams decided they wanted to ease some of the burden by providing thanksgiving meals to some of our families. To our joy they were super glad and relieved!
Here are some pictures from our deliveries:
We are so excited to bless our brother Geoffrey with his new boda boda (motor bike). This will give him the ability to safely travel while doing ministry. This boda boda will give him the ability to reduce transport expenses and provide safe available means to the group.