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Minute Maid

In the summer of 2013, James Savannah became a full-time single parent almost overnight.

The change came after his ex-wife hit a rough patch and their kids moved in with him. He went from seeing his kids only during school breaks to being their full-time caregiver.

With three children to care for alone, the transition was rough, to say the least — and was made even more difficult by the fact that he was in between jobs and didn't know where his next paycheck was coming from.


"I cried hard because they deserve more than what I was giving them at the time," says Savannah.

All images via Minute Maid.

But this hardship only made him more determined to succeed at one thing: being a great dad. "I just had to step my game up," he says.

The news kept feeding him the story that there aren't enough "good father figures" anymore, which bothered him a lot.

“That’s not true,” Savanah says. “There are so many fathers that inspire me on a daily basis.”

Feeling both personally concerned and universally motivated to create a sense of community among the great fathers of the world, he decided to do something about it.

Check out Savannah's full story:

He was living paycheck-to-paycheck trying to provide for his kids, and he decided it was time to step up his game.

Posted by Upworthy on Monday, July 17, 2017

Savannah created a hashtag, #ProudDads, and started tagging his own photos and tweets as well as photos of others dads doing an amazing job.

The goal was simple. "Let's just show what good fathers really are," he said.

Savannah also launched an event called Fathers First to help equip, uplift, and inspire other fathers to be great dads and offer them a support system.

"I hope ProudDads [is] a place where they can go to receive the help that they need, wherever they are in the process," Savannah explains.

Savannah's kids wanted to do something to thank him — and to show their "proud dad" that the feeling's mutual.

They wanted him to know how proud they are of him — and how grateful they are for everything he does for them — so they decided to present him with a special care package.

In it, they gave him a framed hand-drawn family portrait titled "Proud Kids" and a heartfelt letter.

"I hope you know that you have some very proud kids to match your proud dad," they wrote.

Savannah's story reminds us that there are so many dads who are involved in their kids' lives — even though sometimes it isn't depicted that way in popular culture or the media.

Fathers that are very involved in day-to-day parenting are often considered "exceptional." Too many people assume that they must take a less-active role. But there are lots of great dads out there, and Savannah wanted to raise their profile with #ProudDads.

And Savannah couldn't be more proud of the role he plays in his kids' lives.

"The good of parenthood far outweighs any challenges that you have," Savannah says. "Just your kids being happy with no cares in the world, this is what you live for."

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

When schools closed early in the spring, the entire country was thrown for a loop. Parents had to figure out what to do with their kids. Teachers had to figure out how to teach students at home. Kids had to figure out how to navigate a totally new routine that was being created and altered in real time.

For many families, it was a big honking mess—one that many really don't want to repeat in the fall.

But at the same time, the U.S. hasn't gotten a handle on the coronavirus pandemic. As states have begun reopening—several of them too early, according to public health officials—COVID-19 cases have risen to the point where we now have more cases per day than we did during the height of the outbreak in the spring. And yet President Trump is making a huge push to get schools to reopen fully in the fall, even threatening to possibly remove funding if they don't.

It's worth pointing out that Denmark and Norway had 10 and 11 new cases yesterday. Sweden and Germany had around 300 each. The U.S. had 55,000. (And no, that's not because we're testing thousands of times more people than those countries are.)

The president of the country's largest teacher's union had something to say about Trump's push to reopen schools. Lily Eskelsen Garcia says that schools do need to reopen, but they need to be able to reopen safely—with measures that will help keep both students and teachers from spreading the virus and making the pandemic worse. (Trump has also criticized the CDCs "very tough & expensive guidelines" for reopening schools.)

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