For Father’s Day weekend, St. Louis nonprofit Fathers & Families Support Center is looking to raise the final $6,500 needed to reach its annual fundraising goal of $150,000. Due to COVID-19, the organization’s annual “A Toast To Fathers” Father’s Day gala went virtual. During the livestream held on Thursday, June 18, nearly $145,000 was raised.
The funds will be used to put the finishing touches on the center’s new $4.5 million downtown headquarters. According to Founder and CEO Halbert Sullivan, the new facility will be able to provide support to more families because it is centrally located, near public transportation and SLATE (St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment) office and has more classrooms to facilitate its programs. Sullivan said he is especially proud of the Tech Lab which will train participants in computer skills that will help them gain jobs paying around $50,000.
“This building will allow us to get more dads involved,” Sullivan said.
During the 2020 A Toast to Fathers, Demetrice Davis was named the Fathers & Families Support Center 2020 Father of the Year. The 32-year-old father of two daughters originally came to the center for legal support to gain visitation rights to see one of his daughters. He said he was not only able to improve his parenting skills but was also able to get the support he needed to gain joint custody of his children. Sullivan said Fathers & Families Support Center has two-full time legal staff to help fathers protect their parental rights.
“We’re connecting St. Louis area fathers and their families so they can take their rightful place in the lives of their children,” Sullivan said.
Fathers & Families Support Center promotes healthy St. Louis families by helping fathers support and stay connected to their children. The organization provides parenting classes, legal assistance, career training and placement and youth development programs. Fathers & Families Support Center has helped 17,000 fathers and 42,000 families since it was founded in 1998.
During his remarks for the 2020 A Toast to Fathers, Sullivan said that while nationally 1 out of every 4 children live in single-parent homes, children in Brown and Black communities are disproportionately affected. He said that 42% of Hispanic and 67% of African American children live in single-parent households.
Sullivan said that Fathers & Families Support Center has a nationally recognized model called the Family Formation Program that gives fathers the tools and support they need to become responsible and involved parents. He said that the program has helped fathers reach a 62% job placement rate and that 75% of program participants provide financial support to their children and 80% have regular interactions with their children.
To help Fathers & Families Support Center reach their goal:
- Text your name and pledge amount to 314-570-3371
- Mail your check to 1601 Olive St., St. Louis MO 63103
- Go to www.fatherssupportcenter.org to make a donation online