PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The countdown is on for Father’s Day, and a West Philadelphia church is hoping to reconnect dads with families this weekend. The first step is self-esteem.
Wayland Memorial Baptist Church on Baltimore Avenue opened the Reverend Mary L.B. Franks Resource Center in January to provide food, clothing and job training to those in need, but Monday was about the dads, who got a free haircut, outfit and plate of food.
“Whether its addiction, unemployment, mental health issues, they want to participate in activities with their family with their children for Father’s Day, but they don’t have the outward appearance,” said founder Dr. Minnie Johnson. “Today is designed to raise the esteem of the men in our community who are having difficulties.”
The haircuts came courtesy of dad and barber Julio Aponte.
“It lifts their spirits up and gives them motivation to go out there and enjoy themselves,” Aponte said.
Stanley Gray says it means he gets to spend the daddy holiday with his great-grandchildren.
“I feel like a new man,” Gray said. “I feel wonderful.”
For Kevin Spradley, it was the first time he had his hair cut in a year.
“[It feels like] heaven. I can feel the air,” Spradley said. “I feel like I should be going on ‘The Bachelor,'”
Spradley was feeling a little down in advance of Father’s Day. His father passed away two years ago and he lost his daughter a few years earlier. So for him, Father’s Day was looking pretty cloudy, but the church helped bring him a ray of sunshine.
“It feels good, it feels real good,” Spradley said. “He did a great job.”