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Announcement Made at Strong Families Commission of Pennsylvania Annual Conference

Chevy Chase, MD – October 17, 2018 – The DADvocacy Consulting Group (DCG) announced today at the Strong Families Commission of Pennsylvania annual conference the launch of the DADDY Wishes Fund (DWF). DWF is a nonprofit awards program to inspire, motivate, and empower dads, granddads, and others who play “fatherly” roles to be mindful of the dads they want to be and to articulate and act on their intentions. By providing modest financial awards and other resources to dads for well-conceived activities/projects with their children, the DWF is an investment in and support for those efforts.


“We expect that proposed DADDY Wishes Fund activities or projects will be as diverse as the award applicants themselves,” said Allan Shedlin, DCG’s founding DADvocate. “By shining a spotlight on these fathers’ activities, the DWF will celebrate and publicize the importance, benefits, and joys of positive father-child engagement, build a resource file that all dads and father figures can consult for ideas, and support organizations who seek to encourage vibrant father-engagement.”


The DWF program's three-month pilot phase (October-December 2018) launches with the participation of five nonprofit, 501(c)3 organizations that share DWF’s goal to promote positive father engagement and mindful daddying, a term coined by Shedlin in 1994 to describe the convergence of fatherhood and nurturing. Daddying is a father’s lifelong commitment to his child’s physical, emotional, social, intellectual, creative, and moral/spiritual well-being.


During the DWF pilot phase, grant applications will be available only through its five inaugural partners. These organizations come from a broad geographic area and serve a diverse group of fathers:  


  • Reel Fathers, based in Santa Fe, NM works with local fathers, youth, and families to build stronger, more vital relationships through a dynamic use of film, story, and creative expression.

  • Armor Down, based in Richmond, VA, and Bethesda, MD, is an innovative organization whose main goal is the reintegration of veterans back into society upon completion of their respective tour(s) of duty.

  • Native Health Initiative, a non-profit partnership that addresses health inequities through Loving Service, a human-to-human element of wanting to serve others through volunteerism

  • The Strong Families Commission of Pennsylvania, an advocacy group based in Philadelphia dedicated to serving fathers by partnering with children, youth, and family-focused systems of care that include fathers in their service delivery models, in order to improve the emotional, social, physical, intellectual, spiritual, and financial well-being of the children they serve, and

  • Girls on the Run, the Montgomery County, MD, branch of the national nonprofit that inspires girls to be joyful, healthy, and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum, which creatively integrates running.


The DADDY Wishes Fund partners with these organizations, asking them to identify, help pre-qualify, and nominate up to three fathers from their communities. DWF also encourages them to provide whatever support may be needed to strengthen and monitor their nominees’ application(s).


To apply for a DWF grant (up to $200), men – together with their child – must submit a brief application, including a video (two minutes or less), audio file, or still photo, or a short story, poem or some other description of an activity or project the award will fund. If accepted, the recipient also must document the experience in some way (e.g., a photo or video essay) and share with DCG so other fathers may benefit.


Here are four examples of what an applicant might submit:


  1. A dad who grew up in rural south Texas, but now lives in Los Angeles always wanted to show his son and daughter what it was like for him growing up on a ranch. So he found a place to take his kids on a horseback overnight camp-out with a guide, horses and picnic dinner and breakfast up near Bear Lake east of LA; $65/person.

  2. A grandfather who immigrated to the US from Cambodia dreamed of cooking a traditional meal for his son and two daughters and their families and sharing stories of his life based on photos he’d taken over the years.  He needs $70 to digitize his photo collection and $130 for food and supplies for a gathering at his house.

  3. An older brother wants to help his sister learn how to code and needs $125 for the workshop and $50 for roundtrip travel to/from the sessions.

  4. A father who recently returned from military deployment wants to establish a routine of reading a nightly bedtime story to his young children. He needs $200 for books to begin a family library, and to assemble a bedtime reading space with a lamp and a bedside chair/stool.  He also seeks travel funds to begin a weekly father/daughter trip to a local library to borrow books and spend time together.


Final awards will be decided by a DWF selection review team of three professionals with a commitment to positive father engagement. First and foremost, reviewers will consider whether applicants can demonstrate they have thought about the dad they want to be and explain how the proposed activity contributes to that goal by answering the questions:


  • How do I want my child to describe me as a father 10 years from now? and

  • How will this activity contribute to that end?


Reviewers will seek evidence that applicants have considered how proposed activities may impact the whole family. Reviewers will consider the likelihood the activity/project may be fun for all participants and bring them some joy and/or fulfillment.


The DWF pilot program launch is a small-scale “proof of concept” to test the program’s internal guidelines, rubrics, and processes in anticipation of a full nationwide launch in early 2019.


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About DCG

DADvocacy Consulting Group (DCG) believes that almost every parent, who is willing to try, can become the parent they want to be. Its mission is to enable every father to become the dad he wants to be – for the good of his children, his family, his community, and himself. DADvocacy asserts that families and communities are better off when fathers and children are positively engaged in each other’s lives. It includes an active, lifelong commitment to the physical, emotional, social, intellectual/creative, and moral/spiritual well-being of children. DCG takes deliberate actions and helps develop policies to support, encourage, and optimize opportunities for fathers, grandfathers, and other father figures to be involved in children’s lives, and vice versa. DCG brings together a team of DADvocates from diverse backgrounds – each with more than 20 years experience in the fatherhood field. For more information, visit


About The DADDY Wishes Fund

The DADDY Wishes Fund (DWF) is a donor-advised fund of the Greater Washington Community Foundation (GWCF), designed to inspire and motivate fathers, grandfathers, and others who play fatherly roles to be mindful of the dads they want to be and to articulate and act on these intentions. Through grants to like-minded nonprofits, DWF facilitates modest financial awards and other resources to fathers for well-conceived activities/projects with their children. In doing so, DWF makes an investment in and offers support to their efforts. The DWF concept is grounded in research documenting the benefits to children’s overall well-being of positive father-child engagement. This research also affirms the value of such engagement to fathers and families alike. For more information, visit



For More Information Contact:         Scott Beller, Director of Communications, DCG

scott @ daddywishesfund [dot] com      




Allan Shedlin, Founder DCG

allan @ daddywishesfund [dot] com

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