TOLEDO, Ohio —
When you hear the term chivalry, what comes to your mind?
For some people, they think of the medieval times with knights in shining armor. For others, it’s an outdated concept that died along with basic manners.
But for one local organization, chivalry is a key system of values needed in order to be considered a good man.
“Every true man respects every single type of woman. We open up the doors for grandmas and prostitutes. Chivalry isn't based on what type of woman she is, chivalry is based on the type of man you are and it shows everything about yourself,” said Tramain Rayford, founder of the Program Inc.
The Program Inc., which was created in the summer of 2017, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to help boys from ages 7-18, through private and public events. The goal is for members to develop social and life skills that’ll help them deal positively with demands of everyday life - especially young men who come from fatherless homes.
“God put it on my heart to do something for the fatherless community. To help them become men and it started out with the Tie Event. Every man needs to know how to tie a tie and be presentable. But there's also internal things that have to go with the external things that we provide,” said Rayford.
This year’s Third Annual Tie Event is took place Saturday at Rustbelt Coffee in downtown Toledo.
Boys who attend the event will get a free lunch from Chick-Fil-A, a free necktie, a "swag bag," a chance to win a prize, along with gaining timeless lessons.
“Why wear a tie if you’re beating your wife at home? Or if you’re not being chivalrous to other women? You negate everything the tie represents,” said Rayford.
Registration for the event filled up within 12 hours of it's posting. However, the Tie Event is just one of the many events the Program Inc. hosts.
Last month, the “First Date” event was held, as a celebration of the progress members in the program made, in addition to learning basic rules of dating that every good man should know .
“Moms, we can fit all types of roles but there are certain things we can’t teach our sons because we just don’t know, because we never experienced it,” explained Mary Ann Johnson , co-curator of the First Date event.
The Program inc., not only provides fellowship among members, but for the members' mothers too.
“The moms can share their experiences, the boys share life lessons,” said Mary-Ann. "This is true village work."
Rayford believes the fatherless generation is the core to what happens in the community.
"Statistically, 90% of homelessness, 71% of dropouts, 63% of youth suicides, all come from fatherless homes. If we can't change that kind of system, then we have to change that kind of cycle," he explained.
“Catching kids at a young age and guiding them through that process, from young men to older men, to men of this society. If we can guide them in the right direction at a young age I think we’ll see a lot problems in society improve," added Russell Johnson, co-curator of the First Date.
Rayford adds that anyone who wants to help, can volunteer and learn as well after passing a background check.
“I came in this trying to change the lives of young men and ultimately it did like a boomerang. I’ve noticed myself changing my life to be more presentable and to be what I preach," he said.
The Program Inc. will have its volunteer orientation in March.
Rayford said in it's two years of existence, the Program Inc. has served about 400 boys.
You can stay up to date with the organization's events by following their Facebook page here.
RELATED: Go 419 Must-do Rundown: Jan. 23-26