Our Father’s Project: battling fatherlessness and poverty
I just finished building the first iteration of a website for Our Father’s Project, a Christian non-profit organization in Columbus, Ohio. In this post, I’d like to tell you about the organization. I want to share some details about the implementation and strategy behind the website, but I’ll spare those details for a future post.
The Project: an organization doing the expensive work of building relationships
I’ve been serving in a Columbus-based youth mentoring program called The Project for several years. This group does the expensive work of befriending and serving teens who struggle with poverty and, more often than not, have no father present. While the adult leaders of The Project can’t be these kids’ true fathers, we can try our best to help fill that void however we can.
We also fill needs that we discover along the way. Imagine growing up without a winter coat or having a completely empty refrigerator. We’ve filled those needs before and will undoubtedly do it again.
The Project has been around for 12 years. I think it’s important to mention those 12 years. This organization is not about just hanging out with kids for a few weekends and sending them along their way. The Project builds a family amongst its members and sticks around for the long haul.
Some guys who started attending 12 years ago still hang around and teach the next generation of adolescents with their experiences. The ministry is becoming self-sustaining because of this, which I’m told is pretty rare.
Our Father’s Project
I now have the privilege of serving on the board of directors for Our Father’s Project, The Project’s newly-formed parent organization. This organization’s mission is to provide the resources needed to build relationships with and to serve the impoverished in inner-city Columbus.
The point of having the parent organization is to be able to extend our resources to other programs in the future. We have some work to do before we get to that point, but we’re building the vision.
Want to get involved?
If you feel particularly moved to help out with Our Father’s Project, there are a few ways. All of them make a difference.
- Sign up for our email newsletter. You’ll hear stories about what’s been going on lately, our successes, and our needs.
- Donate money. It helps us feed the poor, buy clothing and outerwear, and do things that fathers normally do with their sons: baseball games, bowling, the state fair, etc. You can donate online with a tax-exempt donation.
- Pray. Send good vibes. Whatever you believe.
- Come hang out with us. If you live in the Columbus area, come by The Project on a Friday night. Even just hanging out one night can have a positive impact on someone in unexpected ways. (In other words: no pressure to feel obliged to keep coming back.) Get in touch with me if you’re interested.