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July 19, 2013

Local Man 2 Man Fatherhood Initiative program seeks community support

By Aubrey Jackson, WBTW News 13


The Man 2 Man Fatherhood Initiative Program, located in Bennettsville, has served the community for more than 13 years. The organization helps men become better fathers through group and one-on-one counseling, by offering parenting tips and assistance with gaining employment.

"Our job is to offer as much help and assistance as we can to the men looking to make a change," said Derrick Dease, Executive Director of Man 2 Man.

Dease went on to say that their biggest goal is to shine light on the severity of absent fathers.

"When dad is not present in the life of a young boy, that boy grows up angry, searching for an identity. He feels as though he has been abandoned, so he goes through cycles trying to understand what masculinity is," said Dease.

Reginald Kelly, a participant of the Man 2 Man program is a prime example of how the program helps fathers demonstrate a good example for their children.

"I am glad to have found Man 2 Man because I like having a stronger relationship with my kids. I tell them what to do and what not to do along with how I have been trying to do the right thing so I can provide for them. Because they're not getting smaller they're getting bigger," said Kelly.

Man 2 Man has over 100 men enrolled in their program, and over the past decade Man 2 Man has served over 1,000 men. Participants commit to remain in the program for six months as an individualized "one man plan" is developed to ensure the betterment of the men.

"Often the men we help come to us through recommendation from others, court order, or voluntarily," said Dease.

The Man 2 Man program continues to make a significant impact on the community and is identified as a non-profit the organization, relying solely on donations.

"There's a cost for everything that we do here at Man 2 Man and we don't charge the fathers for any of our assistance," said Dease. He went on to say that having the community support the program financially can be beneficial for everyone.

"Every time you lock a man up, it's costing tax payers $16,000 a year per man. So every dollar paid towards helping a man in our program for instance, saves the tax payers money. We are helping these men change their lives and the lives of their children," said Dease.

Because of the demand Man 2 Man now provides services for residents in Chesterfield, Dillon, and Marlboro.



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