Day with Dads
Organized Chaos, Covenant on a Brown Paper Bag, and Memories for a Lifetime
Sally Hinzie, UBA Church Consultant, writes about the "Day with Dads" at the Wynne Prison Unit in Huntsville. On Saturday, November 5, Sally and 13 volunteers from Eyes on Me Inc., made it possible for 7 Dads to spend a day with a total of 13 children between the ages of 6 and 15.
The day went amazingly well! All the families participated in all the activities – there was a lot of laughter.
One dad has a 13 year old son & has been in prison 13 years. He and his son worked out a covenant for the son’s behavior including a clean room and homework. Both of them signed the covenant (written with marker on a brown paper bag) and the dad kept it with him.
One family wouldn’t go eat breakfast – they just wanted to sit around the table and talk.
One grandmother told me, “I just received my visitation rights – this day is an answer to prayer.” That father had 3 children. He spent about 20 minutes one on one with each child. While the other 2 would play games at the table with their grandmother, he would sit face to face and even cheek to cheek with 1 child at a time talking and encouraging that one.
One mother and her 7 year old son was waiting for us when we got there. She asked us if we were with Day with Dads and we said yes. She said, "We love you already." Later she told us the program was an answer to prayer. The son sat in his dad’s lap for the first 30 minutes. They could not stop hugging.
One grandmother brought her 13 year old granddaughter to see her dad. She wrote a note expressing her feelings saying, “I never dreamed a could spend a day like this with my son and my granddaughter.”
One family had a flat tire on the way up. We received word and prayed over the family – that God would send help and protect them. God answered our prayer. There were 2 children in this family. The dad told us, “My son was 1 year old when I went to prison. I never had the chance to play with him. Today was fun.”
One family had 5 boys – 1 adult son, 3 teenagers, & 1 elementary school age child. They had a “party” and took it with them through all of the activities. They had so much fun together – playing dominoes, headband game and 20 questions.
The goodbyes were bitter sweet, but they went well, too.