You walk into the store, the line is to the door, and there are only a few balloons left. Like everyone else, you waited until the last minute to buy your Mother's Day gift. You suck it up and wait it out because you know that every store will be an imitation of the Hunger Games. We all accept and expect to endure the Mother's Day haze.
None of us expect to endure the same struggle on Father's Day. If Mother's Day is the Beyoncé of Destiny's Child, Father's Day is Fatima, the forgotten member who was never even informed that her services are no longer needed. Still, many men are not only stepping up to care for their children but, mentor and guide other young people.
In an effort to shift stereotypes and provide an inclusive family-fun experience, Hello, My Name is KING, Inc. (HMNK) host an annual Fathers, Family, and Friends Cookout. HMNK recognizes that many youths are privileged to have someone in their life who supports them; yet, many children are not as fortunate. With that, HMNK invites fathers, stepfathers, mothers, mentors, and all blended families to attend. This event brings together families, and organizations while providing participating males the option to learn more about local mentoring opportunities.
HMNK is a 501(c)(3) for-purpose organization that supports boys and men of color in the areas of education, and social and self-awareness. HMNK collaborates with schools, mentor programs, and other nonprofits to provide sustainable programming and resources. While HMNK’s prioritizes the needs of boys and men of color, they serve all members; without regard to race or gender. HMNK's events center on giving back, youth development, building relationships, and motivating participants to actionable community change.
"It's important that we provide our youth a village of men and women who can pour into them and nurture their gifts. And it's also important to celebrate those individuals, both the women and men who are making the sacrifice, " said HMNK's Founder, Whitney Stovall. As someone who did not grow up with her father, she understands the challenges youth experience when they lack a male role model. "My father and I grew closer when I was older, but as a child, I was just left with a lot of unanswered questions."
Whitney founded HMNK in 2014 with the vision of building a positive, proactive movement that breaks barriers and makes a difference.
This year’s event is at Perkerson Park on Sunday, June 17th from Noon to 5:00 pm. Families are invited to make new friends over games and activities, relax and enjoy tasty food. Other event amenities include a DJ and door prizes. The event is free and designed to support camaraderie among families and community organizations.