Five Stories Reminding Us to Love Our Fathers
This month Love Button is celebrating dads with five real stories demonstrating why we love fathers. The sacrifices they make daily around the globe are countless, so we hope these examples help you appreciate the dad(s) in your life.
Tell us which story was your favorite by commenting below!
1) Dad Posts ‘Don’t Give Up’ Signs Around Town
One stay-at-home dad in Queen Anne, Seattle has started a personal campaign to strengthen mental health called “You Matter.”
When Colby Wallace heard about the four recent teen suicides in the Seattle area, he decided he needed to do something. “These were local high school students, and no one was really talking about it,” he said.
A friend of Wallace told the father about the Don’t Give Up Movement, which centered around reducing suicide rates within the community. The founder of the movement, Amy Wolff, sold signs, wall decals, and wristbands engraved with encouraging phrases. Wallace loved the idea immediately.
The dad purchased 15 signs and 200 wristbands from Wolff. Phrases like “You Matter,” “Your Mistakes Don’t Define You,” and “Don’t Give Up” were written as non-intrusive reminders to keep going.
“I’ve learned that you never know who is struggling,” Wallace explained. “Some people seem like they have it together but need to hear this.”
Wallace put up the signs all around Queen Anne with his family and has found positive results already. When dropping off his five- and nine-year-old daughter at their elementary school, a mother told him she was in tears because the signs had made her feel heard.
Neighbors are now donating money to Wallace to help him and his family fund their new orders of signs. He plans to continue posting signs throughout the spring and continue when school starts again.
2) Dad on Raising 7 Adopted Kids
60-year-old Joe Toles has spent the past decade raising children he adopted on his own. His desire to adopt came from his experience in the foster care system while growing up. Ever since his childhood, he wanted to provide stability and security those most in need in the system: teens and early 20-somethings who are frequently at the bottom of the list when it comes to adoption.
“Adopting an older child gives hope to somebody who probably doesn’t have much hope at that moment,” Toles said. “No matter how old they are, they need a home base and to be part of something.”
Toles goes through a nonprofit that specializes in finding permanent homes for hard-to-place teens and young adults called You Gotta Believe. Since 2009, all his children have come from that organization.
His first adopted child in 2009 was a 17-year-old boy named Xavier. A year later, the father took in Johnathan, followed by Ronny in 2012 and Creemal in 2014. In 2017 he adopted Kamren and then Cinsere in 2018. Currently, Toles is in the process of adopting his seventh child: a 20-year-old named Jhon from the Dominican Republic who has learning difficulties.
Although there are always challenging issues revolving around behavioral problems and puberty, Toles adores his sons.
“It takes work, but I make the effort in nurturing the relationships,” Toles explained. “Until I took the plunge, I would never have understood the real difference it’s made to all our lives. Love happens and it changes everything.”
3) Father and Son Traveling Across Country for Autism Awareness
A father and son are embarking on a journey across 48 states in the U.S. to raise money for Autism Action Partnership.
Mike Straub and his 15-year-old son named Adam, who has autism, wanted to inspire others to give money so that more research and opportunities are available for kids with autism. As they travel to each state, they are asking people who follow their story to donate to their GoFundMe where 100% of the proceeds will be donated.
Over the years, Straub has taken his two sons, Adam and Eric, on several road trips. Adam is especially fond of the trips, bringing them up to his dad all the time.
The extensive trip is not only a good way for bonding, but to teach others about acceptance. According to Straub’s wife, Jolene, the “more understanding there is, the more education there is, the more acceptance and inclusion there will be.” The family hopes that this road trip will not only teach others about Autism, but to understand and accept those different from themselves.
4) Daughter Surprises Dad by Listing His Name on Her Diploma
Like many fathers around the globe, Khushbu Patel’s dad did everything he could to make sure she had a successful life. He immigrated from India and, being the sole provider of the family, worked long hours to save enough money to put Patel and her sister through a good college.
Despite the busy work life, Patel recalls her dad always being there for her—he went to every award night and parent-teacher meeting possible. As a way to thank him for his love and support, Patel found an unconventional way to show her gratitude: adding his name to her university degree.
“When I was filling out what name should go on the diploma, it hit me that I could put my dad’s name on it, too,” she said. “I just did it in the moment but I had no idea it would be one of the best gifts I would ever give to my dad.”
It was because of her dad that Patel applied to her dream school. As she grew up, he supported her in everything she did. He never expected her to be perfect, but to simply chase after when she wanted to do.
Her dad, Prakash, was in awe when he saw his name on the diploma: “He opens it and reads ‘Khushbu Prakash Patel’ and looks at me and says, ‘You put my name on it?!’ I said, ‘Yes, Dad, that’s your name, and this is my way of thanking you for getting this degree with me.'”
“Putting my dad’s name on my diploma gave me the chance to tell him how proud I am of him for who he is and what he has accomplished,” Patel continued. “He always says he hasn’t done much in life, but educating both of your daughters and being there for them really shows how much he has worked and done in his life.”
5) Father and Daughter Invite Hungry Stranger to Eat with Them
A post Facebook capturing a touching gesture from a father and his daughter has been making its rounds on social media.
A few weeks ago Willy Chong was eating at a shop in Malaysia next to a small family of two. Standing near the entrance of the shop, Chong had noticed a homeless man staring into the place, hungry.
The father from the nearby family saw the man as well and asked him if he was hungry. When the man nodded, he immediately invited him to sit with him and his daughter for a meal. The dad ordered another order of food for the homeless man. His daughter also insisted her dad get the stranger a cup of Chinese tea.
Wanting to preserve the precious moment, Chong took a photo of the three enjoying their lunch together.
“There is compassion in this world. I want to commend this father and daughter,” Chong wrote on his Facebook post. “This father is such a role model. This is the right way of bringing up a child.”
Thousands of people have now seen the post, and have rightly praised the father for showing love and compassion to someone in need.
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