Cancer. We all hear about it. We all know, or will know, someone who has received the news that they have cancer. Yet life does not stop after a cancer diagnosis. In fact, it often feels more like a whirlwind – a bumpy, bit complicated, and overwhelming tornado of activity. For single parents who are the main providers for their children, it becomes all these things and more. Bills still need to be paid, dinner still needs to be made, the family household still needs supplies, and children still deserve a childhood. This is where The Singletons organization steps in and offers not only practical support, but a reason for single parents with cancer to exhale and feel a little relief.
Named in memory of Michelle Singleton, a single mother diagnosed with breast cancer at age 32, the organization took root 13 years ago and continues to grow. Her friends circled around the family and began offering assistance where it was needed most. Sadly, Michelle passed away 15 months after her diagnosis. But during that time, her circle of friends realized the value and importance of their helping hands. In honor of Michelle, they began Singleton Moms, a 501c3 non-profit organization. The program expanded its reach over time, to include single dads, as well as children with cancer, living in a single parent household. In 2017 they officially changed their name to The Singletons.
Program services focus on the day-to-day needs of the entire family as they face the effects of a cancer crisis. These are thoughtfully developed, based on the most needed requests from our families. We provide the parents with a little peace of mind and the opportunity to spend meaningful time with their children. What little energy cancer has left them with, can be poured back into healing and wellness. Singleton families complete an easy in-take process, and provide a confirmation of medical care. Our goal is to take care of today’s needs and provide hope for tomorrow, assuring these brave single parents, and their children, that they are not alone.
Below are the types of support The Singletons offers.
Bills, bills, bills…any person with a serious illness knows the real financial hardship it creates. Singleton Pockets allocates a small stipend per month to be applied directly toward a household bill such as rent/mortgage, utility (water, electric, etc). If the disease progresses (whether their own or their child’s), their ability to work is forced to change and household income decreases; however, bills do not disappear. As quoted by one program participant, “Disability may give me 60 percent of my income, but my bills are still 100 percent.” Bill payments are made through The Singletons office, directly to the service provider.
This program is designed to provide 4-6 freshly made meals to the families. Each month volunteers meet at Dream Dinners, where they assemble dinner entrees with the same ingredients you use in your own kitchen. Volunteers follow well marked recipes, and create delicious meals with Dream Dinners’ utensils, kitchen tools and packaging. (All meals are purchased by The Singletons; Dream Dinners kindly donates some of the side dishes). Meals include easy-to-cook instructions and are stored in The Singletons freezers for monthly distribution to the families.
Our Bare Necessities program provides families with a supply of the most-needed household items that are commonly used in the home daily, such as: toothpaste, laundry detergent; paper towels; toilet paper; etc. This can add up! Would it surprise you to know that government assistance programs such as SNAP cover none of the items provided through the Bare Necessities program? Bare Necessity collection drives allow us to help the families keep their home running smoothly while simultaneously bringing relief to the family’s monthly budget.
Fun is not a luxury, it is a necessity! When a single parent is facing a cancer diagnosis, the mood around the house can become glum. This is where our Singleton Kids program comes in and boosts family moral. This program offers various family events, holiday fun days, and Singleton Santas. “Memory-Maker Moments” are often a well-needed respite, and also a special opportunity for parents and siblings of a child with cancer. We are always grateful for groups who want to create special activities for our families to enjoy.
The Singletons, like every non-profit organization, relies on funding from grants and foundational giving, as well as many generous private donors. Fundraising efforts are a continuous part of our activity. We passionately believe that the more we can help a single parent family reduce their stress and worry, the more they can focus on what they need to get well. On February 23, 2019 The Singletons will host “The Singletons Swing into Spring Social” a wonderful event chaired by Anna Boxberger of the Diamondback Wives organization. It is a unique opportunity to gather at Harley-Davidson of Scottsdale, meet some pro-athletes, enjoy live music, great food, and support a much-deserved, but under-recognized group of families who need our help.