Back in February of 2020, True Vine Ministries started a Fatherhood mentoring program. A few weeks later everything was shut down because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
But just because the world seemed to stop in March of 2020, "The kids are still getting in trouble," Chris Ned said. "You think because Covid hit that the kids aren't getting in trouble? Killings, murders, fights, all of that is at an all-time high--especially for black, young men."
Ned is one of the mentors and founders of the Fatherhood Mentoring Program. He said he saw so much violence in 2020 that he knew they had to find some way to get the program back on track.
Working together, Ned, Anthony Veal, Sr., and Ronald Laxey came up with a plan to safely get everyone back in same room offering not only advice, but teaching kids life lessons they can take with them as they grow.
"The kids need structure, guidance, and a lot of support," Laxey said. "The way it is now with single mothers they don't have time to spend with kids and guide them. They're just leaving them into the hands of whoever is out there and the information they're getting out there is not working."
Ned and two other mentors said they do not want the mentoring to happen just once a month, the trio wants kids to know they can call 24 hours a day seven days a week and someone will always be there to answer the phone.
"We want to have that line open," Ned said. "We know that those two hours (during the monthly meeting) is not enough. Even if we do a meeting once a week for two hours, it's not a enough. That line of communication must be open 24 hours a day and seven days a week. They have to know that no matter when, it's never going to be at a perfect time...it's going to happen throughout the day...that 24-hour period."
Superheroes come in all shapes and sizes, for these men it is in the form of fathers who help children missing that piece of the puzzle and giving them a chance.