The Charlotte Dads Group is a diverse community of fathers who take an active role in our children’s lives. We've created an online MeetUp group to bring fathers together in the Charlotte Area. We meet with our kids at parks, playgrounds, museums, nature centers, and parent-and-me classes across the city. We felt that there were not enough resources, social groups, or services for dads, so that's what we decided to create! Our group is made up of dads from all walks of life including: stay at home dads, full and part-time working dads, married as well as single parents. Welcome to our community!
THIS MONTH’S TOP STORIES
The Charlotte Dads Group Newsletter Interviews Lance Somerfed & Matt Schneider; founders of City Dads Group
Continuing our series of interviews, The Charlotte Dads Group Newsletter spoke with Lance and Matt, who founded The New York Dads Group and helped establish groups in cities throughout the country to create The City Dads Group Network:
Charlotte Dads Group Newsletter: Hey guys, I know you’ve been busy up in New York during this time, so thanks again for taking the time to answer some questions. First things first, when was City Dads founded?
Matt Schneider: We started the New York Dads Group in November of 2008. As members started moving to other cities and we started to talk to other guys around the country, we saw the potential for a national umbrella organization that brought together organizers to share ideas, resources, and a common mission to create a community for dads.
Lance Somerfeld: That led to us starting the City Dads Group in the summer of 2013, and we ended up launching the Chicago and Los Angeles Dads Groups around the same time.
CDGN: How many cities have chapters now? And do you have a rough idea of how many members are in the network?
MS: We currently have Meetup groups in 41 cities, and one in Toronto, Canada. As of today we have over 18,000 members across the entire network.
CDGN: That’s fantastic! So where did the inspiration for the group come from?
LS: We met when we were both teaching 6th Grade at a public school in the Bronx. Matt took leave to be home with his first son in 2005, and I did the same for my son in 2008, which was right around the time Matt’s second son arrived. Once my wife went back to work after maternity leave, I quickly realized there were very few resources for dads in New York City; at that time it was all “mommy-and-me” playgroups, gym classes, music classes, etc. Matt and I met up a couple times on our own and agreed that there HAD to be more dads across the city that wanted to connect like we did. From that idea, NYC Dads Group was born.
CDGN: It’s always great to hear about the “grassroots” origin of the group. Fast-forwarding to today, have you been surprised to see the group grow into what it’s become?
MS: We’ve been consistently surprised in many different ways. In the beginning, we were just happy to learn that dads of all stripes wanted to connect, not just Stay At Home Dads. As it grew, we became surprised that the time was right to contribute our voices, and those of our community, to important issues related to parenting, relationships, work/life balance, and gender equality. Overall, we’re very happy that the model we created in NYC could become a foundation for groups in other cities all over the country.
CDGN: In your eyes, what’s been the biggest success of the group over the years?
LS: This whole thing started as a group to be an opportunity for dads and their kids to meet in real life; and that’s still at the heart of our mission. We love seeing the members of a newly launched group posting pictures of their kids playing together at a playground, or building friendships with each other at a Dads Night Out.
CDGN: Last question; What would be your advice to any group members, new or old?
MS: Come to a Meetup! It’s hard for some guys to decide to attend an event with people that they’ve never met before. But once they do, they almost always come back!
LS: Also, if you don’t see an event that works for you, then check in with your group’s organizer to help plan an event together.
CDGN: Thank you both again for taking the time to chat with us. To our readers, for more information about The City Dads Group Network, head over to citydadsgroup.com.
Happy Father’s Day from The Charlotte Dads Group
This year Father’s Day will be one of the most unique events in the history of the celebration. As Charlotte, and the country as a whole, continues to re-open from the Coronavirus pandemic, you may find yourself not being able to celebrate as you normally would. Most people might mark Father’s Day 2020 as a year to forget, but it doesn’t need to be: The Charlotte Dads Group wants to remind everyone that there are still good and wonderful reasons to celebrate all around us, from spending time and laughing with our children, to connecting with our own fathers and grandfathers if we’re able to. Here’s a short list of some good Father’s Day reading material:
Where there’s a will, there’s a way. That saying was especially true for this year’s first EVER Virtual Fathers Eve event. Special thanks to John Francis for everything he did to organize it. Be sure to check out The Charlotte Dads Group Podcast episode with him to find out even more information about this event.
The Charlotte Dads Group Podcast has been thrilled with the amount of growth we’ve had over the past months, and we’re looking forward to taking it even further in the future. We’re hard at work creating new and interesting content for our listeners, and can’t wait to share them with everyone! If you’re not subscribed yet, head over to Charlottedadsgroup.com to hear all our episodes. Also, please take the time to subscribe, like, and comment on whatever service you use for your podcast listening needs.
Make Sure to Follow Us
It’s important to stay in touch however possible during this challenging time. Remember, The Charlotte Dads Group is here for you:
Official Website: www.charlottedadsgroup.com