I think at one time or another, every one of us has made a pledge of some kind.
For people of my generation, we said the pledge of Allegiance to the Flag every morning at the start of our school day. Without even thinking, I still stand up with my hand over my heart, when I hear or say it.
Likely saying it each school day or at other community or civic events, etched into my core a spirit of pride for our country that I will never forget. Even now I think about the words I am saying and recalling the obligation it evokes in me. Putting my flag out on Veterans Day, 4th of July, etc., the pledge is ingrained in me and it holds significant meaning and action.
Another important thing to think about is that a pledge is not just words, but it has a powerful draw to duty, responsibility, obligation, and action. Pledges can call us to individual duty and yet unite us with other pledgees to commit to a common purpose or aspiration.
When individuals make a commitment - and make it publicly - they are more likely to remain committed. And that's what we hope for the dads you serve. That they pledge to be involved, responsible, and committed fathers after learning they are irreplaceable in their children's lives. That’s why we offer this very important pledge for 24/7 Dad® and InsideOut Dad® programs.
In the Spring of 2016 NFI asked 24/7 Dad® and InsideOut Dad® program facilitators to submit their ideas for an optional pledge that fathers participating in these programs could recite before and after each session. We were inspired by one submission in particular written by David Asbery, President and Founder/Fatherhood Facilitator of Fixing Fathers Inc. who runs the 24/7 Dad® Program.
Here's the 24/7 Dad® pledge:
My Fatherhood Pledge
On my honor, I will give my children my time, my love, and my heart. I will be an example of a good man to my children and others around me. I will be an involved, responsible, and committed father. From this day forward, I pledge to be a 24/7 Dad®.
You can read why and how the Commitment Pledge can and has impacted other agencies in stories from our Father Factor blog. AND, if you read any of my blog posts, you know by now I love visuals, video, and illustrations of how your peers deliver NFI programs and resources. Here is a great, brief video from one of NFI’s partners, Baby University of Signal Centers, Inc. in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and their 24/7 Dads reciting the pledge.
For those of you who deliver the 24/7 Dad® or InsideOut Dad® program, the pledge cards sheets are available on the flash drive provided with the kit and you can also download them from NFI’s free Resource Library in the 24/7 Dad® and InsideOut Dad® pages. (Both pledges are available in English and Spanish.)
While you are on the front lines, using your time and talents to engage fathers, National Fatherhood Initiative® (NFI) pledges to help you transform your organizations and communities by equipping you to intentionally and proactively engage fathers in their children's lives and share in our vision (or pledge) for every child to grow up with an involved, responsible, and committed father.