Giving Tuesday 2022

Get to know Kevin

 

I’m Kevin Barnett, founder/director of CoolxDad, and I'm originally from New York City -- Brooklyn, to be exact. My history and my today are all about working to make something better for myself and my family -- and that work is present in what CoolxDad is aiming to improve the health of the American household.

I grew up fast as a kid. As the child of a single mother, living in a single-parent household, I knew early what I didn’t want to come of my life, namely because I didn’t have my dad in the house. Sure, we’d talk from time to time, and he’d tell me that he was going to come for me, but oftentimes, I was left alone, waiting. And, I knew the pain of my mom seeing me in pain was enough to make her feel worse about all of the broken promises, so I masked my truest and deepest feelings. Stoic, stone-faced, I didn’t let on that those missed times when I wanted him to come and spend time with me affected me much at all. But, I wanted my father. I wanted my dad.

I made it out into the world, though. I went to school, college, graduated, and made something of myself. I held good jobs, made good relationships with friends and VIPs, and ended up using that grit from having to make some way out of what felt like no way into becoming an entrepreneur, a businessman, working with some of the most esteemed clients in the entertainment business. My work took me from New York to Atlanta and to Houston, but in my journey along those stops, I was still searching for peace and reconciliation in my life. I still wanted to have union with my father.

Soon, I found the woman who would become the love of my life and I became a father and a husband, and my entire world began to change drastically. I found that I could start having the conversations about how I felt about myself and what I wanted out of life. I could be vulnerable. I could explore the factors in my life that had informed me of who I was, and I began to see that all the things that I was pursuing, in the end, led me back to the desire to provide for my family in ways that they would never have to lack for anything. That my family would always have each other and be loved and have their needs abundantly met, both materially and immaterially. Between conversations with my wife, I learned to look reality square in the face and see where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do next.

All of this came to my vision of building a community of fathers and father figures that would be able to change the epidemic of fatherlessness in America’s households. So that someone like my child wouldn’t go through what I went through. So that another mother wouldn’t go through what I went through. I decided to make CoolxDad a vehicle of love to encourage fathers who are in absentia to be present with their offspring, and, to bring father figures who are parenting their children even closer to their flock at home.

CoolxDad isn’t just about me -- it’s about everyone who needs a father in their life to have the unique love that only a father figure can provide. CoolxDad is about abundant provision.