You can contribute to the Flat Daddy Program in three ways:

  • Donate a monetary amount of your choice. It will go toward the creation of future Flat Daddies.
  • Buy a Flat Daddy for an unknown family who needs one. They will be asked to send a thank-you e-mail saying what the Flat Daddy you gave means to them.
  • Buy a Flat Daddy for someone you know. Enter their e-mail address, and a code will be e-mailed to them that they can use to claim their Flat Daddy at no charge.

To donate to the Flat Daddy Program, CLICK HERE.

So What Is a Flat Daddy and What’s the Point of One?

A Flat Daddy is a life-size cut-out of a deployed parent. The purpose is to ease the pain of the parent's absence by having a physical presence in the home. Families take their Flat Daddies on daily activities. Children play with them and give them good night kisses. Very small children have a fighting chance of not forgetting what Mom or Dad looks like.

How I became involved:

I first heard about the Flat Daddy Program when I stumbled across the blog of an LDS woman who dubs herself "Mo." Her husband was deployed, and on a separate blog called "A Year with Flat Daddy," I discovered the concept of Flat Daddies and her family’s experiences with theirs. I followed their adventures with "Flat Jared" or "FJ"—sometimes with a smile, other times with misty eyes.

Mo’s Flat Daddy experience in her own words:

Flat Daddies can really provide a strange sense of comfort in some situations and sometimes a little bit of comfort is enough to get through another day. I know that it was especially helpful for our daughter, who was very young when Jared left.

She didn't shy away from him in the least when he came home and scooped her up. And "Daddy" was even her first word! Our oldest son has some special needs and doesn't adjust well to change, so the chance to have his "Dad" with him as usual helped ease his stress a bit.

And I'll admit that on at least one occasion I put my arms around Flat Jared's neck and cried my eyes out. It was more comforting than crying in a pillow, to be honest.

Carrying a Flat Daddy with you really does bring out the best in people. I experienced such gratitude and kindness from complete strangers, people who wanted to connect with us and really be a part of our family's little adventure.

I am so grateful for Flat Daddies. I had heard of the concept before, but the cost is prohibitively high if you try to make one yourself at a local copy shop. Having a place that makes it easy and affordable—or free for a family going through a deployment—is a great blessing.

Watch Mo’s family and Flat Jared featured on their local news:


More information:

View more pictures of families with their Flat Daddies HERE.

You can contribute to the Flat Daddy Program in three ways:

  • Donate a monetary amount of your choice. It will go toward the creation of future Flat Daddies.
  • Buy a Flat Daddy for an unknown family who needs one. They will be asked to send a thank-you e-mail saying what the Flat Daddy you gave means to them.
  • Buy a Flat Daddy for someone you know. Enter their e-mail address, and a code will be e-mailed to them that they can use to claim their Flat Daddy at no charge.

To donate to the Flat Daddy Program, CLICK HERE.

"Flat Daddy" is a registered trademark of Elaine Dumler.