Holly Hayes, President and Founder of Iron Sharpens Iron, knows first-hand the important work of the Midlands Fatherhood Coalition and the Center for Fathers and Families. Learn more about her and why she felt called to support the Daddy & Me 5K.
Tell us more about Iron Sharpens Iron – what would you like our community to know about your work?
At Iron Sharpens Iron, we are driven by Proverbs 27:17 – “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” We absolutely believe that by working together, we can take great ideas and hone them into actions that make a difference for our communities. We work with nonprofits, community groups, and academic organizations to help them define, implement, and accelerate their mission to achieve great things. In that way, we’re all sharper and stronger together.
How long have you been working with MFC/CFFF?
I’ve been working with Midlands Fatherhood Coalition and the Center for Fathers and Families for about three years, and it has been a true privilege. During much of that time, I’ve served as a quality improvement coach, helping them to implement their vision of helping men understand and embrace fatherhood through education, mentoring, and a connection with community resources. I’ve also assisted them with some planning, developed and conducted training sessions for their staff, and helped them strengthen teams across the organization.
What is a favorite moment/memory/story with MFC?
I’ve had the opportunity to visit each of the Midlands Fatherhood Coalition’s sites, and I’ve gotten to spend a lot of time at the Winnsboro site. Sitting with the team in Winnsboro and seeing the commitment each team member brings to every participant and their family has been very special. At each Midlands Fatherhood site, I’ve been incredibly impressed by the dignity and respect they bring to each and every man they serve. They embrace the inherent importance of fathers to our next generation and to our community at large, and they recognize that as a society, we don’t do the best job of teaching men how to be fathers. They’ve created a wonderful model that truly should be emulated by others. I’m also impressed by the fact that they use data to inform and enhance everything they do. That’s critical, because it clearly demonstrates that their model works, and has measurable results.
Tell us about your own family – what is your husband like as a dad?
Matthew and I have been married for 13 years, and we have a 5-year-old daughter and a 7-year-old son. Matthew is a wonderful example of a father. He’s a real family man…he’s very hands-on and loves to play with the kids in the yard, take them fishing, or play soccer. He emails our son’s teacher frequently to keep up with school work or needs, and we always make sure one of us is at every event they have. As a family, we tend to spend our free time making memories, whether it’s a hike or bike ride together, or a family vacation.