BRAZOS COUNTY — It's common to find mom support groups on different social media platforms.
When the pandemic struck, an Austin man noticed fathers were missing out - so he launched Lonestar Dads. And now the founder is expanding his reach into the Brazos Valley.
Fathers only is the one rule Andrew Michael has for his initiative, Lonestar dads.
"Immediately I realized how much men needed it because I knew I needed it," Michael said.
"If you're a dad sign up. Sorry, mom's, just dads." Javier Castaneda, a Lonestar Dad said.
Andrew Michael was on a quest, searching for a platform to connect with other fathers at the start of the pandemic. When he didn't find one, he made his own.
"Starting Lonestar Dads, I didn't know how it would go. It was just going to be a side hobby for me. And it just blew up so fast I quit my 90 thousand dollars a year job within a month of starting Lonestar Dads," Michael said.
In Less than a year, the group has more than four thousand members. Not only is Lonestar Dads a safe place for men to vent and get advice about fatherhood, it helps dads connect with their kids through various activities.
"The one thing I regret is not having more time with them and Lonestar Dad give me activities that I might not have thought about and I get to spend time with them so it's just kind of a win-win," Castaneda said.
Castaneda has taken his two daughters on two Lonestar Dads excursions, seeing the greater reward.
"We want to be better for our kids and that is what the group has done. And it's been really cool, just watching the community build around a common interest which is our kids," Castaneda said.
"It's just good to be able to have that quality time because this is something that my kids are going to remember," Michael said.
The founder recently relocated to College Station, expanding the group into Brazos County, encouraging local family men to use this bond of fatherhood to build stronger relationships with their own children.
Lonestar Dads doesn't have any events coming up yet but you can expect to find some in the near future.