Through a partnership with the Fellowship of Fathers Foundation, 25,000 copies of a new bestselling book about fatherhood will be made available to Angel Tree dads this Christmas.
In the opening pages of Be a Better Dad Today! 10 Tools Every Father Needs, author Gregory Slayton writes, “I didn’t have much of a dad growing up. I do have some very good memories of him when I was very young, but over time, alcohol and other destructive habits took him farther and farther from our family. … Eventually my father cut himself off completely from my brothers and me.”
Fatherlessness – whether it’s the result of incarceration, divorce, death, or outright desertion – has well-documented and lasting consequences for children, families, and communities. In his foreword to the book, Chuck Colson writes, “I have seen what happens to many kids who have no dads: Looking for male role models, which all boys need, they turn to the gangs … The link between crime and fatherless is undeniable, as are the links between the lack of a father and a whole host of what social scientists call ‘adverse outcomes.’”
Because he knows what it means to grow up without a dad, and because he shares Chuck’s understanding of how important good fathers are to the health of society, Slayton spent years studying the qualities and habits that great fathers have in common around the world. He imparts his observations in Be a Better Dad Today.
Because of his friendship with Chuck Colson and conversations with Prison Fellowship Ministries CEO Jim Liske, Slayton saw an opportunity for incarcerated fathers to benefit from the lessons in the book. Through The Colson Project, an initiative of The Fellowship of Fathers Foundation, 25,000 copies will be made available to fathers who signed their children up for Prison Fellowship’s Angel Tree® Christmas program in 2012.
The book, which has an entire chapter on the unique challenges of long-distance parenting, will encourage incarcerated dads to be the best fathers they can be, even from behind bars. He prays that, having taken the first step by signing their kids up for the Angel Tree program, incarcerated fathers will understand the important role they play in their children’s lives while in prison and after they are released.
“Those of us who didn’t have real dads growing up – we all know how painful it is to not have a father you can depend on,” says Slayton. “We all make mistakes, but to at least to have someone who cares about you is better than having nobody! The challenge for our generation is – are we going to abandon our children, or are we going to have to a better relationship with them than we had with our fathers?”