President Obama is pledging to help fathers forge a stronger bond with their children.
Obama is kicking off something called the year of Strong Fathers, Strong Families as part of his Fatherhood and Mentoring Initiative.
It's a nationwide effort to help create opportunities for dads and their kids connect.
"...my job has kept me away from home more often than I liked, and the burden of raising two young girls would sometimes fall too heavily on Michelle.
The goal of the initiative is to create small moments that can have a big impact.
"We've boosted community and faith-based groups focused on fatherhood, partnered with businesses to offer opportunities for fathers to spend time with their kids at the bowling alley or ballpark, and worked with military chaplains to help deployed dads connect with their children," said Obama.
In the President's weekly address Saturday, he reflected on his own childhood growing up without a father.
"I grew up without my father around. He left when I was two years old, and even though my sister and I were lucky enough to have a wonderful mother and caring grandparents to raise us, I felt his absence. And I wonder what my life would have been like had he been a greater presence," he said.
Obama also said the recession has taken a harsh toll on some dads.
"If you're out of a job or struggling to pay the bills, doing whatever it takes to keep the kids healthy, happy and safe can understandably take precedence over all else," he said.
For more information on the initiative, log onto www.Fatherhood.gov.
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