ManUPstate aims to strengthen father/child bonds in the Upstate

GREENVILLE, SC (WSPA) – Families across the country will spend the weekend honoring the strong male role models in their lives for Father’s Day.

A local initiative is helping strengthen the bond between fathers and their children.

ManUPstate is an organization founded two years ago. Initially focused on building strong community-oriented men, it’s primary focus these days is building better fathers.

Joel Harmon has his hands full keeping up with his three-year-old bundle of energy, Levi, but he wouldn’t trade the time he spends with his son for anything.

“I think it’s important for them but I also think it’s important for me,” said Harmon, “I want to be a part of that and I do want to see what he learns and how he grows.”

“We just thought it was a great opportunity to celebrate the work that dads can do and to help kids engage and celebrate the role dads play in families,” said Derek Lewis.

One of the organization’s promotional videos shows Lewis playing with his son.

“I want him to remember the experiences that we had together that were unique,” said Lewis.

Lewis says it doesn’t take much to build a bond with your children as long as it doesn’t at an early age.

“I mean if you could just set aside 10 minutes a day after bath time and before bed,” Lewis suggests, “That’s a memory that you child will have forever.”

That’s a lesson Harmon is already putting into practice, “It’s just a joy. I mean not every second of every day is a joy but I would say overall, it’s been fantastic.”

ManUPstate will be holding some events this Father’s Day weekend.

To read more information about the organization, visit

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