We continue to find ways to help lower the overall number of fatherless children in the communities where we live. Man Up has two main offices, one in Springfield (MO), and one in the Tampa Bay area.
Recently Man Up Tampa Bay came into a dozen gently-used, Lenovo All-in-One computers with the express purpose of blessing families who are fighting for the fatherless in the Tampa Bay area. So a couple of days last week, we had a great time rolling around the area to play Santa to some great organizations who are living out God’s call to defend the fatherless.
You don’t have to travel to Africa to make a difference in the live of kids without dads. Pregnancy centers, Guardian ad Litems, foster care and adoption, modeling biblical fatherhood – these are all ways to help out at home. At Man Up and Go, we realize the importance of equipping like-minded organizations, including the church, to steward the call of James 1:27 in a variety of ways. Handing out free computers is a fun and simple way to make the hard job of reducing fatherlessness easier for those already engaged in the fight, just as we are.
In no particular order, here are some of the folks who benefited from this initiative:
Oasis Pregnancy Center (Land O Lakes, FL)
Below Oasis Executive Director Pete Castellani (left) and Man Up CEO Jeff Ford share a laugh together. Peter used to be in the corporate world until a downsizing put him right smack-dab in the fight for the fatherless, as God led him to open Oasis Pregnancy Center to serve the women of Central Pasco County. His organization does great work advocating for the unborn, showing that all children are image-bears of God, and resourcing these women with emotional, physical, and spiritual tools to make the hard, but right choice, to keep the baby and provide for him/her with the love and tenderness God wants.
Gulfside Elementary (Holiday, FL)
91% of Gulfside students receive free or reduced lunch, and many of the students come from a home environment where caregivers are in and out of the picture constantly. Principal Jeanne Krapfl, pictured below with Man up volunteers, was ecstatic to receive some new computers for their Parent Resource Center, which is designed to assist the single moms (and dads!) in the community who otherwise mightn’t receive it.
Joining Hands Ministries (Holiday, FL) & Healthy Start (Pasco County, FL)
Below pictured are leaders of the ministry – Mary and Dave Ashcraft – who run this resource center in an area of holiday where fatherlessness is very common, as well as Terri Thompson, counselor at Healthy Start in Pasco County, FL. Terri has been a huge advocate of Man Up and Go and in addition to helping educate her high-risk pregnancy ladies, she has been sending men our way who have decided to “Man Up” to their responsibilities as fathers! This is a huge win for the would-be fatherless and is a tremendous honor to work alongside these men and encourage them to be the men God has called them to be.
West Florida Foster Care Services – Tampa, FL
We were also able to deliver a couple of computers to West Florida Foster Care Services. Man Up has worked closely with WFFCS’s Executive Director Dan Claassen over the last year to be a shining light to the dark world of fatherlessness. Dan is committed to glorifying God by restoring those children who have been neglected, abused, or abandoned in the Tampa Bay area. We couldn’t be prouder to partner with him, and pray that even just a couple of computers can help assist those foster care families who have taken the step of faith to James 1:27 it obedience to God.