What a year it’s been, 2017. I’m writing this to speak to you from my heart, it’s how I always want to speak to you. I’ve always promised that I would be honest with you, and I’m going to be about myself, Fatherless Daughters, wins, losses, and everything in between.
First though, I hope that every single one of you has the best new year of your lives. I hope 2018 helps mend what is broken in you, not just the loss of our dads, but anything else that is broken.
It was clear early on the 2017 was going to be a year of change for me. Leaving my job in March to pursue Fatherless Daughters was the biggest change I’ve ever made in my life. Leaving my job, as toxic as it was, to journey into the unknown with just faith and encouragement from my husband was a scary thing for me. I wouldn’t have done it if I didn’t truly believe it was my calling in life.
I worked with a developer for months to make our website a real thing, when it went live, it was one of the most exciting things I’ve ever done. The website gave me, and us, a home. A place where people could find us and learn that they weren’t alone in their grief over the loss of their father. We had a safe place for them to go.
I created the forum for all of us. Many of you asked me to make Fatherless Daughters a private page but I didn’t want to do that. I wanted people that needed us to be able to find us and share with us right away. I didn’t want to have to approve them to a group – it could take a day or two, what if someone needs us now? I didn’t want to take that chance so I kept Fatherless Daughters open for that reason.
The forum has been the biggest disappointment to me. I sincerely thought that I created something really special that was ours. What you asked for, at a small charge per month at $5. When I asked why no one was using the forum I couldn’t believe the responses I got. Most of the responses were that no one knew about the forum. I realize we get new sisters every day, but if you’ve been around for the last year I talked about the website and the forum often. If you honestly didn’t know about it, I’m sorry.
The responses I got otherwise about the forum…wow…they were hurtful. Not like the kind of hurtful that someone might misunderstand, like I said this – but really meant that. No, some of the things said were just mean, I blocked a few people from Fatherless Daughters which I had never done before.
In 2018 the forum will be obsolete. I created the private forum that you asked for. You can find it on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/311576642662024/ I hope that it is everything you wanted, and I’m sorry if it takes a few days for me to approve you. I only ask that you are nice to each other on the private group, no religion (people are free to believe what they want – we welcome everyone), no politics (at all – not kidding) – that has always been our rule, please abide to that or I will remove you from the group and the page without notice.
I think what I want you to know is that Fatherless Daughters is my job and my life. Things like a forum, a website, or a 501(c)(3) designation are not free. As it turns out they’re quite expensive.
So new year, new focus for Fatherless Daughters. My plan is to still grow the not for profit but in a different way. I think it’s important that we give back to others, that has always been the goal of Fatherless Daughters. To help sisters in their time of need.
The plan is to help through scholarships for young women (all over the country – not just in Indiana) who have lost their father and plan to go to college. I will be telling people our story; we are ready to help another sister who has gone through the same loss as we have. We will support her emotionally and financially with a scholarship to the college of her choice. A small scholarship, from donations from corporate partners, and from you, our sisters. Remember, any donation can be written off on your taxes with our 501(c)(3) status.
This means if you want to participate in this scholarship program in your city you can. If you find a young woman that has lost her Dad and could use some encouragement and positive influence in her life, as well as money for books, residency, or tuition you can help make that happen.
There will be an application process of course, the Fatherless Daughters Board will have to approve the scholarship, but this is a way for us to finally give back, help a sister in a way that we weren’t helped. You can donate today via https://fatherlessdaughters.org/how-to-donate/
If you have any questions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I wish you nothing but the absolute best in 2018, believe in the magic a new year can bring.
Much love sisters!