‘Lonestar Dads’ looks to connect kids with their dads during pandemic


AUSTIN (KXAN) – The pandemic has given many people more time to spend at home with family, and for one Central Texas “dad group,” that means their numbers are growing.

“I always felt guilty and I worked more than I spent time with my family,” said Andrew O’Brien, founder of Lonestar Dads. “COVID-19 created an opportunity to spend more time with my family.”

O’Brien says being at home also helped him come up with Lonestar Dads, a group of dads from around Texas looking to have fun and stay active during the pandemic.

“It has been so much fun,” said O’Brien’s daughter Kaydence. “Instead of him doing work all the time, he is spending time with his family.”

With new restrictions and the number of COVID-19 cases rising in Texas, the group now plans on moving most gatherings online.

“We do virtual events, like we did a virtual fishing event where you go out with your kids and submit a picture and share a story,” said O’Brien.  “That one was awesome. We did a virtual daddy/daughter makeover contest so the prettiest dad and most unique dad won a hundred dollar gift certificate to take their daughters out for a daddy daughter date.”

O’Brien says it’s a way for dads to connect with their kids during these trying times.

“Dads are home more,” said O’Brien. “A lot of dads are having to work from home and they are getting more time with their kids and they are appreciating it.”

The group, which is free to join, started in May and now has more than 2,400 members.

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