A new initiative born right here in Barrington is gaining momentum in the movement to help dads be more present in the lives of their children. The recently debuted TeamDad.com is the latest online initiative created by David and Peggy Hirsch of Barrington Hills. David is also the founder of the Illinois Fatherhood Initiative, a campaign to help men be better fathers. David says his passion for this cause became “crystal clear” when his fifth child was born 15 years ago.
“As the father of five kids, the responsibility of being a dad when my career was taking off was overwhelming. There was the risk, I think, that I might not be focused on having a meaningful relationship with my kids and I wanted to do something about that. It was at that point, at the end of 1996, that I was looking for fatherhood resources online and couldn’t find any. I was also alarmed by the statistics I found. Four out of ten kids are born of a father absent at home. One out of three don’t have a dad’s name listed on their birth certificate.”
So David got to work building his own online database of fatherhood resources, he formed the Illinois Fatherhood Initiative and now he has created TeamDad.com, a new way to connect dads with three tools to help them focus on fatherhood. One is an online database of fatherhood resources, the second is a self-assessment tool to help dads reflect on their level of engagement with their kids and the third is the new “Great Dads Coin“, a new and tangible way to honor the dads we love. “It’s meant to be given as a gift, one dad at a time, whether it be from a child, father or grandfather, or a father to his adult son who is raising children or just between friends. I put the coin in my hand and give it in a handshake. And I tell them what our relationship means to me and encourage them to continue to be a good role model, not only for their own kids, but also to the other kids and men that they know.”
The coin’s design is thoughtfully symbolic. The circular shape is a symbol of unity, the words “Love”, “Honesty”, “Patience” and “Commitment” reflect the core values shared by great dads, the bald eagle represents guardianship and the numbers 2-4-7-3-6-5 are a nod to the commitment of fatherhood.
The coins cost $15 and the proceeds benefit fatherhood charities. If you need a special gift for your dad this Father’s Day, there is one location right here in Barrington where they’re available for purchase. MJ Miller jewelers on Main Street is selling them today and the owner, Michael Miller, says he’s a proud supporter of both the cause and the Hirsch family. “In any household without a father figure drug use goes up, problems go up and there’s all kinds of bad situations. David’s work is a necessary thing that most people have not bothered with, but he has taken the time and done an excellent job with helping fatherless children.”
If you’d like to purchase a coin as a gift, you can buy one online by clicking HERE, but to have it in time to give by Father’s Day, you’ll find them at MJ Miller Jewelers, 123 W. Main Street in Barrington. They’re open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today. To learn more about David Hirsch and the new Great Dads initiative, follow them on Facebook by clicking HERE or visit TeamDad.com.
You’ll find Team Dad’s online database of Fatherhood Resources by clicking HERE.
And you’ll find a wealth of information about David Hirsch, the Illinois Fatherhood Initiative and the group’s many supporters at 4Fathers.org. Happy Father’s Day!