It is now ten days since International Men’s Day. The good news and the bad news just keep coming in. It is all very humbling. At times it is hard not to shed a tear.
This bit of sad (bad) news contained in the letter below highlights why the team at Dads4Kids do what we do, and why we so greatly appreciate your support. I will let Jonathan share his story.
Dear Dads4Kids / International Men’s Day Team,
Just letting you know that I have given a donation of $100 to Dads4Kids towards the costs of running International Men’s Day. It isn’t much but I hope it helps out a man who is a father who is doing it tough out there.
Recently a man who was a family friend took his own life in suicide.
He was a proud father to two kids, he was a victim of abuse from the mother and was under a lot of pressure from her, making his life a misery.
He also suffered depression but he took it all on his shoulders, put up with it. He worked hard to provide for his kids and do his best in life.
I don’t know the full details but he took his life after a birthday party for one of his kids, after the mother didn’t want him to be at the birthday party.
At the time they were separated and she was being difficult and nasty towards him. She was constantly denying him from seeing his kids ever since they had separated.
That day it must have been too much, he wasn’t thinking straight and he simply had enough of life.
He didn’t confide in anyone, he masked his pain well and no one saw it coming.
He was a great bloke, I grew up with him. We played as children together. My family and his family used to go fishing and camp down at his family’s shack.
We are told as men to put up with it, harden up and soldier on. But sometimes it just gets a bit much. His funeral was on International Men’s Day and he will be greatly missed. It is sickening how there is next to no support for men in these types of situations.
Either way that is my reason for donating. I want to be part of making a difference. Being a single dad myself I can somewhat empathise with my friend, he truly loved his kids, he was proud of them, he wanted to always be there for them and he did his absolute best for them.
What he went through was absolutely terrible and no doubt is happening to dozens of other men in Australia. Living in silence. (Editor’s Note: Try hundreds of thousands)
I know if my ex-partner one day just turned around and told me I could no longer see my daughter or even spend some quality time with her, I would be absolutely devastated.
I am lucky her mother understands my daughter needs her father in her life and it would be devastating to me as well as my daughter.
Unfortunately not all mothers are as understanding and do the complete opposite.
The law is seriously one-sided when it comes to violence and abuse towards men, and in general everything appears to be one-sided.
It isn’t the gender of the person, it’s the individual and something really needs to change. Anyone can be a victim to it.
Either way I have waffled on long enough, I am not good at talking and I hope this email makes sense.
Thank you all for helping fellow dads.
It is good to know there is a men and children’s charity looking out for fathers and doing their best to help and encourage men.
All the Best,
I found Jonathan’s letter to be extremely moving. You could tell Jonathan’s friend was greatly loved and sadly missed. I cannot imagine how his children felt. That is why Dads4Kids exists and International Men’s Day exists as well. To help the children, we have to help the Dads.
That’s why Dads4Kids needs to grow, to be able to encourage more men in their hour of need.
Now for the Good News
From the positive point of view, through International Men’s Day we were able to reach over 4 million people through our paid Facebook campaign.
Most of that reach was organic! This was a phenomenal result.
The best part of International Men’s Day was not what we have done directly, but the tens of millions if not hundreds of millions of people we were able to reach through the multiplier effect. There are dozens of YouTube videos like this for International Men’s Day 2020.
Just check out this short 3-minute video from a large UK fashion brand called NEXT, encouraging men to ask the million dollar question, “Are you okay?” and then wait for the million dollar answer — the truth.
We need people who want to ask men the question, actually hear their answer and push for the truth. The truth can be hard to find and difficult to hear. Can you imagine if Jonathan’s friend had heard this video before he took his own life? He might be with us today.
What would have happened if Jonathan’s friend had seen this video dedicated to our brave, daring and incredible men wishing men “Happy International Men’s Day”? Maybe just watching that video encouraging him as a man would have dissuaded him from taking his life. We just don’t know, do we?
As Dr Jordan Peterson, a Professor of Psychology from Canada — who has a huge male audience across the globe — said in this video: People need so little encouragement, and yet it is still is a vast unmet need. Men need it. Women need it. Our children need it!
Let’s make sure we encourage people this week.
People need so little encouragement, and yet it is still a vast unmet need.
Men need encouragement.
Women need encouragement.
Our children need encouragement!
We all need encouragement!!!!
Many men have expressed a desire to still take part in the Decorate Dad Challenge. On top of this, several Dads4Kids Donors have banded together to put up a Matching Challenge of $10,500 towards those who would like to make a donation to Dads4Kids up until midnight, Friday 18 December.
The Decorate Dad Challenge will be EXTENDED until midnight Friday 4 December 2020. This is a 4-Day extension. So far, the amount of $3,670 has come into the Decorate Dad Challenge and will be doubled. That’s the good news. The fundraising period finishes 14 days past the 4-day extension until the 18 December. Every remaining dollar up until the full matching challenge amount will be doubled between now and then. We want to save more men like Jonathan’s friend.
Warwick Marsh has been married to Alison Marsh since 1975; they have five children and nine grandchildren, and he and his wife live in Wollongong in NSW, Australia. He is a family and faith advocate, social reformer, musician, TV producer, writer and public speaker.
Warwick is a leader in the Men’s and Family Movement, and he is well-known in Australia for his advocacy for children, marriage, manhood, family, fatherhood and faith. Warwick is passionate to encourage men to be great fathers and to know the greatest Father of all. The Father in Whom “there is no shadow of turning.”
The Fatherhood Foundation Incorporated trading as Dads4Kids is a Harm Prevention Charity listed under Subdivision 30_EA of the Australian Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 with Tax Deductible Status (DGR) for donations
Dads4Kids – Building Men. Growing Fathers. Changing Generations.