Staff members at a middle school in Dallas, Texas were just hoping a few dozen men would show up for its “Breakfast with Dads” event — but they got a few hundred instead.
On Dec. 4, a Facebook post reading “Please Share! Men Needed!” explained that Billy Earl Dade Middle School needed at least 50 men to show up to the event on Dec. 14 because “the reality of a great event like this is alot (sic) of our kids will not have a dad present.”
On the day of the event, about 600 men volunteered to spend part of their morning in Dade’s auditorium, eating a meal with boys that many of them had probably never met. Men of all races, ages and backgrounds showed up to be surrogate dads and mentors.
In the past, Dade has been one of the poorest performing schools in the Dallas area, according to KXAS-TV. But on Thursday, the community went a long way to help the kids there know how much they matter.
“When a young person sees someone other than their teacher take interest in them, it inspires them,” Rev. Donald Parish, the event’s organizer told the Dallas Morning News. “These kids need all the support they can get to be successful.”
The atmosphere of the morning was supportive and positive. The guys chatted with the boys about life and some even showed them how to tie ties. Among the powerful images were hundreds of men and boys linked arm-in-arm around the gym in a moment of unity as the event came to an end.
According to the Dallas Morning News, staff members at Dade have been working to improve the school’s standardized test scores and have been successful. The school is hoping to hold more community events like “Breakfast with Dads” to help inspire its students to stay upbeat.
The school has another community mentorship event planned for spring. If this event was any indication, they’d better have enough folding chairs!