By Wil Crews
Contributing to the mission of the Child Care Resource Center (CCRC) in Opelika, Dad’s League launched its Steps To Hope Breakfast last week to help support fathers in the Lee County community.
Dad’s League is an entity within CCRC which strives to address what it sees as some of the biggest issues within the community — food, transportation and shelter needs. Specifically, the new Steps To Hope Breakfast is another way the Dad’s League is addressing its goal to connect fathers with support, training and curriculum to encourage a thriving culture of fathers who engage their families toward being positive contributors to their communities.
“The Steps To Hope Breakfast came about because we wanted to give an opportunity to fathers and families and let them know that we have resources that can help you achieve the best you can be — not only as an individual but in your household and as a family,” said newly appointed Dad’s League Director Jason Flowers.
After spending six years with East Alabama Medical Center working in the mental health field, Flowers made the switch to CCRC and Dad’s League in hopes of making a broader impact on his community.
“We got some exciting stuff going on,” he said. “I transitioned over from mental health because I wanted to make a difference in the community as far as the homeless population we have, and just the amount of people I see on a regular basis who are struggling with food needs, transportation and shelter issues. Basically my whole vision was to make a difference in this community. For somebody who is in need, we are truly there to help out and be that hub for resources for people.”
The Steps To Hope Breakfast is held on the third Wednesday of each month. It was held at Byron’s Smokehouse in Auburn last Wednesday at 8:30 a.m., and is scheduled there again for next month, March. 16. About 15 to 20 participants arrived to a free meal, guest speakers and giveaways. They also decided on a “Father of the Month” which will be awarded at each breakfast through the remainder of the year.
“The Steps To Hope program is a wonderful program,” Flowers said. “We want to congratulate our fathers for being good men and active participants in our community. It’s going really well right now. Byron’s was so loving and caring to host us.”
Dad’s League operates everything it does under the acronym HOPE — which stands for Healing, Opportunity, Purpose and Energy.
“We want to give active participants in our programs the opportunity to have healing,” Flowers said. “To focus on not just things that have happened in the past, but being able to work with and through those things to accomplish your goals. We have so many partners such as Byron’s, that will give them opportunities, not just to get a free meal, but for work, to provide them with benefits. We can put you in an opportunity, or help you get an opportunity where you can feel successful.
“The next thing is purpose. Finding a purpose is what a lot of people need to do. Once you find your purpose, you feel more energy. You say ‘I’m happy about what I am trying to do, where I’m going with my life, and helping others on the way.’ Lastly, is entering in with energy. With all that stuff together, it just spells out hope.”
Aside from the Steps To Hope program, and with the thought of HOPE in everything they do, CCRC and Dad’s League work with community entities to provide numerous resources that help address shelter, food and transportation needs within Lee County. The nonprofit is always looking for more community involvement through sponsors.
“Any direction you want to help we are here,” Flowers said of potential partners. “We are willing to work with you and return the favor.”
For shelter and food, CCRC partners with local churches; For those struggling with addiction, they partner with His Place of Opelika and New Birth Ministries out of Valley; For transportation needs, they partner with Uber; for mental health needs, they partner with East Alabama Health. They also work with the court systems, DHR and law enforcement.
“My thing is, I wanted to come in and make a strong impact,” Flowers said. “I want to make our impact on the ground running; not just doing a lot of talking but letting people know they can come to the CCRC and Dad’s League and say ‘I’m in need or whatever it is,’” and if we don’t have it, we can get you to the right place. We are truly the hub to help people in need. We just want to see people get the help that they need.”
For more information on the CCRC and Dad’s League, visit: www.sccrc-alabama.org/home.