More than 600 men attended a “Breakfast with Dads” event at a middle school in Texas, leaving organizers stunned.
Pastor Donald Parish Jr. knew many of the students at Billy Earl Dade Middle School didn’t have father figures, so he posted a plea to Facebook asking for volunteers to stand in and talk to the kids during and after breakfast.
“We thought we would get 50 people,” Parish told USA Today.
But more than 600 men ultimately showed up for the event.
The men and students enjoyed breakfast then went through a variety of activities meant to serve as icebreakers, event photographer Stephanie Drenka told ABC News.
She recounted tearing up when volunteer Jamil Tucker gave each man a tie. The men then taught the kids how to tie a tie.
“I started crying behind my camera,” she recalled. “The back of my camera was fogging up.”
“This turnout is a testament to show [what happens] when a school and a community come together,” Principal Tracie Washington told the Dallas News.
Kristina Dove, who helped organize the event, posted on Facebook that she was inspired by what unfolded.
“All honor goes to those 600 men who showed up on that day to give America and the world hope for the future,” she wrote.
“It’s because of your time, service and intentionality that we have been able to shine an international spotlight on the goodness and care for others that the majority of mankind possesses.”
People responding to her post also praised the men, and Dove for her help in organizing the breakfast.
“This gives me hope we are going to have a very good year! Thank you from a little girl who didn’t grow up with her dad. I was lucky enough to find him in my 40’s, so I have the perspective to have this story imprint onto my heart,” one Facebook user wrote.
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