You’ve probably heard the statistics. One in four children in the United States grow up in fatherless homes and are far more likely to live in poverty, face teenage pregnancy, drop out of high school, go to prison, abuse drugs - the list goes on. (You can check out https://www.fatherhood.org/fatherhood-data-statistics for more facts.) In 2012, Aid to Women realized that in order to successfully empower the lives of women and their children, men also needed to be engaged in family life. We changed our name to Bridgehaven Pregnancy Support Center, and the following year Bridgehaven launched men’s support services.
Today, not only are we engaging more with men who come in with their partners for pregnancy tests, but we’ve also encouraged more men to take Earn While You Learn classes with their partners. We’re excited to report that we have had more couples than ever joining our Earn While You Learn program! Just this fall, we have eight couples taking classes, including: Prenatal, Brave Parenting, Baby Basics, Influential Parents Accountable Kids, Cooking, various Bible studies, as well as mentoring.
With this increase in couples, our instructors have made sure to focus specifically on the guys’ needs too. For example, men in Prenatal have the opportunity to meet with other fathers in their class along with volunteer Michael Jackson to discuss questions and concerns they have as expectant fathers. One client said that this time after class “changed my life.”
Men who have taken classes with their partners report that what they’ve learned has helped them become better fathers and husbands/partners in addition to learning valuable life skills like budgeting and earning weekly material supplies (such as food, clothing, and diapers) for their families. One couple shared that “being able to get groceries has been a big help and blessing and has helped us to save money and budget for our family.”
Many have also experienced spiritual transformation. In addition to the one-on-one mentoring that Bridgehaven provides men, some couples have gone on to receive biblical marriage counseling and have been welcomed in by area churches .
But none of this would be possible without you. Whether you’ve taught a class, helped clerk or sort, donated financially, or given material goods, you are empowering these couples to be better partners, parents, and brothers and sisters in Christ.
Posted on Tue, October 2, 2018
by Rachel Pheasant