Dad’s League program strives to help local fathers be ‘heroes at home’
By Rebekah Martin
The Family Resource Center, a non-profit organization that has had an active presence in Opelika for more than 20 years, is starting a new initiative that will help local fathers be leaders in their families and communities.
According to information on the organization’s website, Dad’s League, a fairly new initiative started by the FRC, is “designed to be a place where dads can be empowered, build connections with other dads and take advantage of opportunities to be ‘heroic’ with their families. Dad’s League is a community where dads can participate as well as volunteer and get the tools and resources they need to either start or continue being the Hero at home -where it counts the most.”
Antione Harvis works at the FRC as the Fatherhood Coordinator and heads up Dad’s League in its mission.
“Dad’s League is a program that engages and supports fathers and their children and also with their family as a whole. I believe that the family unit is really the base unit and core of our community, and so when we are able to support families, especially in times of hardship … through Dad’s league, we can really change our community,” Harvis said. “Many people aren’t aware, but there’s a fatherhood factor in pretty much all of the different things we see in society. Teenage pregnancy, drug use, dropping out of school, low grades, incarceration, drug use … there’s a fatherhood factor in all of those things. With the support that we have at the Family Resource Center, with Dad’s League and the community resources that are available, we can help really change our community by impacting families in that way.”
Harvis said the FRC, and specifically Dad’s League, works with numerous local organizations to find ways to be a resource for families and make a positive influence in people’s lives.
“We’ve looked to connect with a number of different organizations in the community – non-profit organizations, civic organizations, churches and other state agencies,” Harvis said. “We don’t want to reinvent the wheel. We connect with organizations that are effectively reaching out to families, kids and mothers and we look for ways to use those channels to get to fathers.”
Dad’s League is currently hosting their “Locker Room Sessions” that are available for fathers to participate in. The sessions are held at The Way Building, located at 1310 McCoy St., Thursday evenings from 6-8 p.m. Harvis said these sessions, held in a “man-cave” like setting, are a way for fathers to meet and network with each other and gain support from other men in their community. The program will hold twelve sessions in total, and works with local business to provide incentives, such as gift certificates, to those who complete all twelve sessions.
“Dad’s League is really there to help take things that are already started in the community, All-Pro Dad’s and the groups that meet at the schools, and take it the extra mile and engage father’s in ways they are not already being engaged currently,” Harvis said.
While mainly a grant-based organization, the Family Resource Center does also accept private donations.
To donate or register for a session, visit www.dleagueconnects.org to scan the QR code with your smartphone.
“We’re there to be a resource to the entire family,” Harvis said.