Reconnecting Fathers and Families in Yemassee, South Carolina

[Photo: Father's Day celebration participants]
(l to r) Angela Childers, Beaufort Housing Authority Executive Director; Harold Rivers, Father of the Year; Erica Rivers; Richardson LaBruce, Beaufort Housing Authority Board Chairman, and Lolita Huckaby-Watson, Beaufort Housing Authority Commissioner

On June 10, 2016, Beaufort Housing Authority, in conjunction with South Carolina Regional Housing Authority #3, celebrated Father's Day with a huge Father's Day event at the Yemassee Heights complex in Yemassee, South Carolina. The event featured over 85 participants and 23 vendors.

The Yemassee Police Department cooked hamburgers, hot dogs and fried chicken. The children enjoyed water slides, jump houses, balloon animals and face painting while their parents visited vendors such as the Child Abuse Prevention Association, First Choice Medicaid, First Steps Reading Program, the Hospital Health Van and The Technical College of the Low Country.

Beaufort Housing Authority's Executive Director, Angela Childers, presented the "Father of the Year" award to Harold Rivers based on an essay written by his daughter, Erica Rivers. The following was her submission:

"My dad, Harold A. Lewis, is a great dad. Why, you ask? Well, because my dad loves each and every one that is in his family. He cares for everyone and he never gives up on us.

Even though my dad has lost two of his kids, he still stands tall and fights every day to see them or hear from them. I don't believe my dad will ever give up on his family.

My dad always makes sure that everything is in line. For instance, at school he always makes sure that I am (not) getting into trouble and my grades are straight.

I really do not see why my dad would not be father of the year. If he doesn't win, he will always be my father of the year and I will love him for the rest of my life."

Even though it was a hot day, an excellent time was had by all.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development recognizes the importance of both fathers and mothers, andĀ the strengthening and empowering families' initiativeĀ gives special attention to the growing trend and negative impact of absent fathers. To all the children and youth who wished that their father was in the audience to see them perform as a tree in the kindergarten school play or watch them or play an instrument with their school band, these Father's Day events are for them.

To all the children who were saddened because their father was not in the stands to cheer them on while they played their best game or whether they just won the school Spelling Bee or received an award for school excellence, these events are for them. And for all the dads who simply wanted to sit across the dinner table and offer a smile of encouragement to their child, our efforts to bring them together in a safe and supportive environment are dedicated to them as well.


Content Archived: January 16, 2018