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Two-time Emmy award winner for In Search of Heroes
Founder, Grace Products, an educational media organization
Father of seven children.
AN OLD TACKLE BOX
Shortly after Greg Vaughn lost his father to Alzheimer’s in 2000, he found himself alone in his garage staring at old rusty fishing equipment that he had somehow inherited. Greg was overcome with feelings of anger and hurt; angry at his father, at God and himself. Then he started asking the questions that many children ask, “Why couldn’t my father tell me he loved me? Why couldn’t we have been closer? Why couldn’t I have had a father like ___ ? ”
Greg was saddened by the fact that he did not possess even a signature from his father. Then almost immediately, a haunting question came to Greg’s mind and it went something like this: “Greg, if you were to die today, what would your kids hold in their hands tomorrow that would let them know that they were the treasures of your life?” As he pondered that piercing question, he had to sadly answer “…NOTHING, just like my father left me, NOTHING.”
Shortly after this garage event, Greg called twelve of his closest friends and asked them to go with him on a journey he called Letters from Dad. During their months together, God revealed a marvelous plan whereby these men could leave a legacy of faith, hope and love through the lost art of letter writing. When they were all through with their time together, every one of these godly men told Greg that this was one of the most significant events of their lives.
The men were so excited about what had happened in their families, they invited their closest friends to a dinner and asked Greg to come share the vision of Letters from Dad. To his amazement over 120 men came to this dinner. Greg led this group through the Letters from Dad process. Upon completion of that semester the men again held a big dinner but this time over 250 men showed up. At the third dinner in the spring of 2004, they had over 750 men present. It was after the third semester that Greg knew God was doing something that needed to be shared with the rest of the country.
WORDS EVERY CHILD NEEDS TO HEAR
Greg knew from his own experience that there is a longing in every child to hear from his father. His own son, Trevor, shares how one of his father’s letters came when Trevor was in the midst of making a hard decision in college. Trevor had been praying and laboring over the decision and that night a letter came from his dad. Though Trevor doesn’t share what the decision was, or specifically what his dad said in the letter, he did tell his dad later, “You just THINK you wrote that letter, it really came right from the hand of God.” Greg’s daughter Rebecca tells how her most prized possession was a wire coat hanger still covered in the drycleaner’s paper wrap. Greg had written on the paper, “Bek, I love you, Dad.” She said it was a very precious treasure to her and her dad never even knew she kept it. She moved it from closest to closet and even took it to college and back. This coat hanger love note WAS her most prized possession until her dad began writing her letters.
WHY IT’S NECESSARY
As Greg travels, he surveys the crowds to whom he speaks. He says that in the Church among Christian men, less than 3 percent of attendees have a letter or some tangible written expression of love from their fathers. In the secular community the percentage is even less.
HOW IT WORKS
Letters from Dad rests on two pillars; the written letters and the spoken blessing. Greg starts with a men’s event at a church or company. He calls it “one party you won’t want to miss.” At this “party,” Greg explains the value of writing down what you would like your family to know about your thoughts and feelings for them. He explains the value of passing on the destiny and legacy as you see it for your family. Making an impact on your children’s future by writing and speaking is explained. At the party’s end, the men who choose to participate are divided into “Legacy Groups.” These groups meet once a month for at least four months to write four letters; one each to their wife, their children and grandchildren, their parents and the final letter of life and learn more about speaking blessing into their families. In Legacy groups, the men;
Spoken blessing is an important dimension of Letters from Dad. There are four components to the spoken blessing
Greg’s program has touched thousands of men. But there’s even more ahead. He has been invited into several corporations including InterState Battery to present Letters from Dad because companies are recognizing that having a man be a good father with restored loving relationships in his life makes him a better employee. Rotary International is using Letters from Dad in their organization.
Greg was invited to the Pentagon by Chaplain (Col.) Ralph Benson, the Pentagon Chief of Chaplains to present Letters from Dad because Greg’s book had changed his own life. As a result, all branches of the military will be welcoming Letters from Dad into their ranks because the military at the highest level recognizes the importance of family and that many military families are really struggling or even breaking up under the pressures they face.
Letters from Dad has even been invited into prisons where men who use the program can restore broken relationships, reconcile with children, spouses and parents and prepare for reconnecting with families after their release.
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