Coming Together With Gratitude

More than 100 attended our annual holiday awards luncheon on Friday, December 15, at the DoubleTree in Columbia. This is always a great celebration of our statewide staff and their tireless work with fathers throughout South Carolina.

Highlights included board member Sheldon Cooke giving a tremendous testimony about his journey in fatherhood and how our work impacts thousands of dads around the state.

Kwame Smith, a graduate of our Midlands program, gave his testimony about how our programs have given him hope as he has reconnected with his daughter, Promise.

Celebrity comedian Akintunde Warnock served as our emcee. An awards presentation and several raffles rounded out the celebration.

SCCFF President Karriem Edwards wrapped up our event with an encouragement to be thankful for our upward progress in 2023, exceeding all our targets, but to be mindful of the many more dads we need to reach in 2024 and beyond.

The leaders of our fatherhood work in the state:

Angela McDuffie – Midlands Fatherhood Coalition

Kelly Wright – Upstate Fatherhood Coalition

Tyrom Faulkner – A Father’s Way

Derrick Dease – Man 2 Man

Wallace Evans – A Father’s Place



To Be a Better Dad

Fuquan enrolled in our fatherhood program at Midlands Fatherhood Coalition at the age of 19 after the birth of his daughter, Mia. As a young man, he felt overwhelmed and unprepared for the responsibility that parenthood demanded. Previously, he never had to take care of anyone else, but he knew he needed to be involved in Mia’s life.

Within two months, Fuquan dedicated himself to becoming a good father, participating in group sessions, and seeking counsel from the intervention specialists. One of the most significant lessons he learned was the importance of having a healthy relationship with his daughter’s mother. While Fuquan admitted that he hadn't been ready to have a child, he was ready to learn and grow, not just as an individual but as a partner and a father. 

With our help Fuquan began to learn what good parenting involved, from budgeting and financial responsibility to time management and emotional well-being. He learned the art of patience, the importance of discipline, and the joy of bonding with his daughter.

Fuquan’s intervention specialist even helped him prepare for his first major purchase — a car in his own name. The car isn’t just a mode of transportation, it is a vehicle for change, a tangible step forward in securing Mia's future. And every day he continues to put her first. 

But Fuquan's journey is far from easy. He is still learning what it takes to be a great dad every day. 

Please help us reach more dads like Fuquan in 2024. Your generous gift will help us deploy more resources and personnel to come alongside men like this who have a real desire to become the dads they were destined to be. Click here to help us prepare for our work in 2024!


We were at the WIS-TV studios on December 20, for a live prime time segment on fatherhood. South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families President Karriem Edwards sat for an interview along with one of our dad graduates, Kwame Smith. WISTV anchor Greg Adaline conducted a great interview and brought an important focus on our responsible fatherhood programs around the state. Thank you to Emmy Award winning anchor Judi Gatson for reaching out to make this happen!

On Christmas Day, WACH Fox 57 in Columbia will air a fatherhood focus segment from an interview we conducted at their studios on December 20. Dr. Lawrence Ford and current fatherhood participant Lorin Jackson were interviewed about the impact of our programs on dads and their kids. Mr. Jackson recently reconnected with his son Kaysaun, who is just shy of his second birthday, with formal joint custody and they now have a stronger relationship. Reporter Kei'Yona Jordan captured the essence of the influence that our dedicated staff in the state have with fathers who are genuinely seeking to become great dads! Thanks, too, for news anchor and SCCFF board member Fraendy Clervaud for arranging this focus on fatherhood.


South Carolina Department of Veterans Affairs Regional Integration Officer Eric Gallardo met with us on December 19, for the formal signing of our partnership agreement into the Combined Arms program, allowing us to service more fathers with more resources available because of their veteran status. Combined Arms streamlines the connection between veterans and their families from all branches of the military with organizations that serve them, creating a new Veteran service model, focusing on collective impact - reinventing what it means to serve Veterans by creating pathways for them to access resources based on exactly what they’ve asked. #servemoredadsbetter


We are grateful for the generous contribution of 120 Squishmallow toys donated by Jazwares, LLC for dads throughout South Carolina. Our five state leaders (pictured here) will be sharing these with dads and their kids this holiday season. Thank you Deb Silver at Jazwares for thinking of us and the children of the dads we serve!

If you would like to find out more about corporate sponsorships, please contact SCCFF President Karriem Edwards at [email protected].

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