This dad gives bags full of items needed to help ex-convicts get back to being a father again to their children.
Charles Daniels Jr.
Charles Daniels Jr. once had a conversation with a father who was serving a jail sentence that changed his entire life.
“He said, ‘You can’t send me out here alone and not think that I’m going to be back here in 48 hours,” Charles remembered. “He knew for certain he’d be back in jail if no one was there with him.”
That conversation is what prompted Charles and his wife, Samantha Fils-Daniels, to start the program Fathers’ Uplift two years ago. The program provides bags for dads in need containing necessities like shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, deodorant, clothes, and blankets. The goal of the program is to make these dads understand that they are not alone and that they can get back being fathers to their children again.
“We see there’s a misconception that fathers behind bars don’t care about their kids. We know that they do care,” he said. “When they held their child for the first time, they did not imagine living a life without them.”
Being a Father
The 33-year-old founder of Father’s Uplift was also motivated to start the program because of his own childhood experience. He grew up in a fatherless household after his dad left when he was just 10 years old.
“It really resulted in me feeling bad about my father not being in my life and looking at myself as the reason he wasn’t there,” he said. “I was never the reason but when you don’t know why someone left, you create your own narrative and often it points back to you. The reality was that my father just didn’t have the support to stay engaged,” Daniels said. “It wasn’t because he didn’t love me.”
Since the program started, they have been able to help almost 30,000 fathers. In addition to the bags, they also provide mental health support, one-on-one coaching, job searching and housing for fathers.
“We’re giving men an opportunity to know they don’t have to be perfect as parents and can be forgiving,” Charles said.
Reference: Good Morning America