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Ohio author offers advice on fatherhood

With the release of her self-published memoir, “A Father’s Love,” Lavita Stokes has started a new chapter in her life. Stokes aims to change American family values by promoting a campaign for fatherhood and parental responsibility. Through her book and donations to Columbus organizations, Stokes said she hopes to reach both those coping with the struggle of not having a father and the struggle of becoming a good one.
“It’s time to put the father back in the family,” she said.
Her book shares the pain and confusion she experienced as a young girl growing up in a fatherless home, along with poetry from men and women about their experiences with fatherhood. The book also doubles as a self-help book for men facing parenthood head on.
Stokes is donating part of the proceeds from her book to the Father 2 Father program, which helps men between 16 and 35 years of age prepare for the responsibility of being a father. The men go through a series of parenting classes and workshops that teach them how to be an active and valuable part of their child’s life.
In the upcoming months, Stokes will be part of a panel of speakers that will address Father 2 Father participants. Giving a uniquely female perspective on the subject, Stokes hopes to help men understand the effects an absent parent can have on a child.
“I want to teach, inspire and most of all uplift.” Stokes said.
Philanthropy is nothing new to her. Stokes has been teaching, inspiring and uplifting people for over a decade. For ten years Stokes volunteered for Franklin County Children’s Services’ Friendship Program where she mentored children with difficult home lives. One girl Stokes worked with has become like family to her, she says. She met her when she was 10 years old and is still in contact with her 16 years later. In 2002 she was awarded the Most Inspirational Volunteer of the Year award, but her true work can be seen in the lasting relationships she has created.
“We all have success built inside us,” she said, “We just need to find the resources.”
Stokes plans to continue donating to and working with organizations like Father 2 Father, the African American Male Initiative and the Columbus Urban League. She also expressed a desire to aid battered women’s shelters, women who have suffered abuse and women in prisons, to provide more resources for downtrodden females.
Stokes will have a book signing on Oct. 24 at The Book Suite in Columbus from 3 to 5 p.m.

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