Fathers make a big difference
James Carter, a participant dad from Meridian Housing Authority, and his family.
Lavante Epson and his son Vontarius celebrated with South Delta Housing Authority employees Angelic Mister, Family Self Sufficiency Coordinator (first form left), and Executive Director Patricia Logan.
More than one hundred smiling faces attended the call to celebrate Father's Day with South Delta Housing Authority in Greenville, Mississippi. The event took place on Saturday June 14, 2014 at Hardy Park and incorporated a health fair and competition. The initiative was a collaborative effort amongst the South Delta Housing Authority, Bodies Under Construction (BUC), Delta Foundation, and the MS Tobacco Free Coalition.
The health fair offered presentations and screenings. For the health competition, local organizations were challenged to participate by creating teams to compete in weight lifting, rope jumping, an obstacle course, a basketball free throw, and a relay race. Children, fathers, and families competed in teams as well. The children also received giveaways made possible by donations from local organizations.
"The event meant a lot to me because I got to spend time with my son without being rushed off for work," said Lavonte Epson, one of the participant dads. "It was a great event. The program raised the bar for black fathers. I hope more black fathers would want to bring their kids the next time."
The Meridian Housing Authority also hosted a Father's Day Initiative event. On Monday, June 23, 2014, hosted the workshop "Father's Make a Big Difference." Featured speakers included Dan Derrington of First State Bank; Detective Dareall Thompson of the Meridian Police Department; Terrell Thompson of the City of Meridian; Jennifer Mackrell of the Care Lodge Domestic Violence Shelter; and James Carter, a dad from Meridian who spoke about gang intervention.
In addition to the South Delta and Meridian Housing Authorities, housing authorities in McComb, Forest, Tupelo, Summit, Biloxi, Natchez, and Yazoo City held activities during the month of June for their annual Father's Day Initiatives.