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Check Out Daryl Mackin’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Daryl Mackin. Them and their team share their story with us below:

The inspiration for A Soldier’s Child Foundation came while Daryl Mackin, Founder & Executive Director, was preparing for his own 6-year-old son’s surprise birthday party. Like most parents, he was easily caught up in all the “chores” required to pull off the birthday celebration.

“I quickly lost sight of the joy of the moment,” says Mackin. “I was sitting at my computer at work, where on my wall I have a memorial of Staff Sgt. Marc Golczynski. Marc is the son of my previous neighbors, Henry and Fay Golczynski, and a fallen soldier of the Iraq war.

I also have a very moving picture of Marc’s son Christian receiving his father’s flag. This photo by Aaron Thompson won the AP Managing Editor’s Photo of the Year. It went all over the world. “As I finished typing out my son’s invitations and gave a big sigh of frustration, I looked up at my wall and was immediately convicted in my spirit for my negative attitude. My heart turned to Christian Golczynski, who will never be able to have a party planned by his dad.”

“There are many children like Christian that will never receive another birthday gift from their father/mother because they gave their lives while defending our freedoms. Likewise, the fallen soldier will never be able to give their child a surprise birthday party, a bicycle for their son, a necklace for their daughter, financial assistance for their child’s first car, or pursuit of higher education.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Considering we started with $200 dollars and one child and now we have grown nationally, becoming a household name as the gold standard for the families of our fallen. We Provide an opportunity for lifelong touchpoints so that ASC recipients will say it is an honor to be A Soldier’s Child.

ASC offers Love to the child left behind, Honor for the memory of the fallen, and Hope for the children to live a courageous life. A Soldier’s Child Foundation’s three points of service are:

#1. Birthday Celebrations. Celebrating our recipient’s birthdays every year up to age 18 in honor and memory of their fallen military parent.

#2. Mentorship Programs. We offer a Journey Camp experience for our recipients between the ages of 9-16.

We also offer some very exciting mentorship programs/mini-camps which include golf, dance, theater, science, songwriting, and hunting/fishing programs. ASC has a leadership development program (PS23) designed for ASC young adults 18 years of age and above. PS23 is an intensive outdoor weekend focusing on mind, body, and spirit.

#3. College Scholarships. ASC facilitates college scholarships for our recipients.

We presently have just under 5000 children enrolled in all 50 states. On average ASC takes on 20 new children every month.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I started ASC in 2008 and in 2012 I resigned from teaching at Blackman HS as a Culinary Arts instructor. We had a budget of $60,000 and we were serving under 400 children with one camp.

Our budget is over 1.5 mil and we operate 20 camps. I am the founder and CEO.

ASC is my life.

What were you like growing up?
Trouble. I grew up in NY, in a family of 16. Eight boys and eight girls. My biological father abandoned my family when I was a baby. He had PTSD from serving in the Korean war. My stepfather left my mom when I was 12. He had PTSD from WWII.

My mom did it all to hold the family together and she did.

I ran away at 17 to only return and drop out of HS and join the Navy. I was ok at it. Got in a lot of fights. Barely made it out alive. At 29, I was in a dark place in my life and God Almighty reached down and pull me out of the muck and mire.

My life has never been the same. Serving children who have lost a military parent is the calling of my life. I thank God I found it.

I wrote a book. I can’t rewrite it here. I’d be happy to send you a copy. 615 427-2970.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Rick Stufflebean and 501Concepts

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