Happy Fathers Day

I consider myself to be truly blessed to have both of my parents alive and involved in the lives of the entire Morrison clan. With Father’s Day approaching, I am doubly blessed to not only have my father alive but also for having been raised with a strong, non-violent male role model. But then again, one should not “be blessed” to have been raised in a violence free home; it should be your right.

We know from years of research that men play a tremendous role in the development of children. Many of us are fortunate to have had positive fathers, uncles, grandfathers and friends in our lives. Children raised in homes where domestic and sexual violence exists have to struggle against the odds to develop resilience to the violence and to ultimately overcome it’s negative impact.

A goal at HAVEN is to give children at our shelter, all having experienced violence so horrific that they needed to stay with us to escape the pain, and sometimes to stay alive, an opportunity to be exposed to positive male role models.

Male Mentors who volunteer with us, help fill those shoes and give children hope for their own violence-free futures. Through the volunteerism of several dedicated men from our community, our youngest shelter residents have the opportunity to interact and, more importantly, have fun with these amazing men. By giving our children the gift of their time, their humor and their peaceful presence, these men make a difference.

So, in recognition of Father’s Day, I wanted to say Thank You. Thank you to my father, my husband and to all of the men who are raising healthy children in violence-free homes. And on behalf of the children in our care, thank you to our Male Mentors and to all the other men who so loudly speak about violence against women and children.

It’s not difficult to become a Male Mentor for the children in our shelter. We’ll be hosting a training class in the Fall to bring on new volunteers – and we would love for you to be one of them! APPLY TODAY! YOU could be the one stable adult male in our young residents’ lives. Simply contact Belle Kleinberg Hornung, HAVEN’s Volunteer Coordinator, for more details at bkleinberg@haven-oakland.org or 248.334.1284 x659.

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