Five years on the surface doesn’t seem like a long time. Five years ago, we saw our first ever Latin American pope, a new royal baby, and the word “twerk” enter our lexicon forever. Justin Bieber peed in a bucket, Paula Deen was caught using racial slurs, and late Toronto mayor Rob Ford admitted to being a crack user.
On the bright side, we also saw the birth of something local and awesome. Something that would change the landscape of local fatherhood indelibly.
What started out as a casual idea between two new friends and young dads turned into a full-fledged movement. Dad Club London was borne of the concept that dads needed to connect and support each other; and unlike the Archie Bunker image of yesteryear it was now okay and totally cool for dads to be emotional, sensitive, present, active, and engaged in the life of their children.
Our original idea was for a group in which we would create a network of dads to cheer successes, guide through challenges, and have in-person playdates and dad nights out quickly became much more.
After two years, the organization came up with the mission of “creating better dads, a stronger community, and a brighter future for our children.”
Our very first monetary donation came in June of 2015, when a virtual hat was passed amongst members, and $1000 was collected for the Corus Radiothon for Children’s Health Foundation. This success created a veritable landslide of future generosity.
Slightly more than three years later, Dad Club London has reached an entirely unanticipated milestone.
November’s Board of Directors meeting featured three sets of special guests invited to celebrate a momentous occasion in our history. We took the opportunity to recognize their outstanding work in the service of their clients and our community.
These agencies are:
London Abused Women’s Centre provides abused and exploited women and children over the age of 12 with counselling, advocacy and support. They also provide support and counselling to family members of women and girls who have been prostituted/sex trafficked, including women and girls who are missing or disappeared. November is “Shine The Light On Women Abuse” month, and Dad Club London proudly stands as allies in support of the critical and wonderful work being done by the fantastic staff and volunteers of this essential agency.
George Bray Sports Association is celebrating their 50th year of providing kids with special needs the chance to develop confidence and sense of participation through hockey. They are a non-profit league where every child is provided with equal ice time, regardless of ability.
The Abby Fund is a local non-profit that helps lift the spirits of sick children, one stitch at a time. Volunteers from The Abby Fund will meet with children in hospital to design and create their dream dress or superhero cape, entirely free of charge. Each year they host a fashion show, where all children helped are invited to parade their creations down the runway past admiring local dignitaries and community supporters. Agencies like these are the lifeblood of our community, and provide support, help, and hope to those who deserve and need it. Dad Club London admires and recognizes their efforts and we were excited to invite them to receive $200 donations, which officially pushed us over the milestone of $100,000 being donated to local charities, non-profits, and persons in need. Here is a breakdown of where the money has gone:
Dad Club London is honoured to have the support and belief in our mission necessary to be able to raise and donate over $100,000, despite being volunteer ran and receiving no public funding. This money has been donated to organizations and agencies such as Anova, Thames Valley District School Board, Kidsport, Canadian Cancer Society, Epilepsy Southwestern Ontario, Kids Help Phone, and many others. We are excited to recognize this milestone and announce our Christmas fundraising campaign as the first step towards the next $100,000 raised and donated.
Dad Club London will pledge the first $600 to our Christmas campaign, and all funds raised will be split:50% to presents for the children of member dads financially struggling over the 2018 holiday season 50% will be divided between Anova and Rotholme Women’s and Family Shelter to help provide a memorable Christmas to women and families in shelter over the holidays To donate to these campaigns, please consider either sending donations through e-transfer or paypal with “Christmas Fund” in the comments to email@example.com, or please become a donating member of our organization on our website. If you are a registered member of Dad Club London and unsure as to how you will provide a Christmas for your family this year, please let us know what is going on through our secure help request form found here.
Ability to help will be subject to need requested and funds raised. All help requests will remain 100% confidential. We look forward to making Christmas dreams come true, and we tip our hats to all who have contributed to make this first $100,000 donated possible.
Thank you all for sharing with us in the journey to this milestone, and here is to many more accomplished together. Sincerely, Jeremy McCall President, Dad Club London On behalf of our terrific volunteer Board of Directors