Your gifts, Warren's story: United Way's income, health investments put young father and daughter on path to sounder future
"They modeled me into someone I had in me. I just didn't know how to bring it out."
That's how 20 something Warren Hawkins summed up the payoff of graduating from the Fatherhood Development Workshop, offered by Fathers and Families Center, a United Way agency. Their programs help young, low-income and expectant fathers become responsible and involved parents, wage earners and providers of support to their children.
Warren came to the center after learning that his girlfriend was pregnant. He was struggling to find a job due to past criminal convictions.
With the help of a job recruiter at Fathers and Families, Warren soon found a good job where he now provides second chances to others who struggle. He is in a position to help other young fathers, and has hired about 10 of the other Fathers and Families grads to help them provide for their families.
You can meet this impressive young man and his toddler daughter Lauryn, in this story produced by WXIN FOX 59. The scene of him helping his little girl brush her teeth to get ready for the day is one of those small, every day moments that spoke to me, showing more powerfully than any words, what this investment makes happen.
Anyone who contributes to United Way is a part of Warren's success. Last year, thanks to United Way givers, more than 13,400 people in Central Indiana received job readiness or job search assistance as part of United Way’s income focus, like Warren. And, more than 9,600 people participated in parenting education programs as part of United Way's health focus, also like Warren.
Since 2003, UWCI has invested more than $1.5 million in support of Fathers and Families Center’s efforts to improve the life chances of children by helping young fathers achieve self-sufficiency and become responsible, involved parents. This includes grants totaling $218,297 from United Way’s Capital Projects, Facilities Maintenance and Technology Funds. (These funds are contributed specifically for such needs.) The Center’s current Community Fund allocation is $125,804.
--Mary L. Kinney, Public/media relations director