AUSTIN (KXAN) — A Central Texas man has spent years helping impact the lives of young men and boys without fathers, but the pandemic has put that on hold.
“We try to provide activities for young men and boys who are father-absent to do the sort of things they would do if they had dad,” said Buzz Carruth, Texas program director of Team Focus.
Team Focus works with young men between the ages of 10-18, and since 2001, the program has served more than 5,000 young men and boys throughout the United States.
Buzz spends his days as branch manager at City Electric Supply in Hutto, where he hasn’t missed a day during the entire pandemic, but COVID-19 has stopped him from working with young men and boys in the program.
Carruth and the other volunteers haven’t been able to meet with the kids for almost a year, and with no donations coming in to pay for activities and camps, they are at a standstill.
“We can’t get together with the boys because of COVID,” Carruth said. “Not only have we not been able to get the guys together … without being able to get the guys together I haven’t been able to fundraise. How do we tell a civic organization, ‘This is what we do,’ when we aren’t doing it?”
Cameron Wilkins was in the program for three years. He knows Carruth well, and he knows how important the program is.
“Skills just to help you grow as a man or a person and stuff like that, it was just amazing,” Wilkins said. “He was like another father figure. Not only to me but to everybody. He wanted everyone to be the best person they could be.”
Carruth says even though things have been halted, he hopes to get things going again once more people are vaccinated.