When cancer strikes the most vulnerable The Singletons are there
By Terrance Thornton | Digital Free Press
With just days from Christmas families across the Valley of the Sun are readying preparations, snagging last-minute gifts and making sure everything is just right to visit or welcome family as the final days of 2022 unfold.
The past year for some families in the Phoenix metropolitan area has been filled with trials and tribulations as anyone who knows will tell you: cancer sucks.
But for a child to be stricken with the serious illness a particular kind of tribulation emerges for single parents who are neighbors, friends or loved ones dealing with an unforgiving disease.
“Our main mission is to support families through a very difficult time following a cancer diagnosis,” said Jody Boyd, executive director and founder of The Singletons. “We really are interested in what is going on under the roof of the home. Cancer is a very scary thing and the mood in the home can get very heavy.”
The Singletons — a Phoenix-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization — came into existence following the passing of Michelle Singleton and today what was once the “Singleton Moms” has blossomed into a vital respite for single parents in need.
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“You can’t raise a family without those types of necessities,” Ms. Boyd said of perishable donations, and food boxes provided by The Singletons. “We provide meal kits that feed a family of four.
Additionally, we have our Singleton Kids program where we try to focus on the kids and one of our sayings is, ‘Leave cancer at the door.’”
For Ms. Boyd, the No. 1 focus of The Singletons is help create positive memories.
“Whatever we can do to lighten the mood and help create some positive memories — focus on the time together,” she said. “So they can focus on all of the other things that means being a kid.”
This past year, The Singletons provided services for 76 families in the Phoenix metropolitan area, but Ms. Boyd reports a sharp increase in families in need.
“We have seen a real spike in single-family households in need of our support,” she told the Arizona Digital Free Press. “We have seen a 45% increase in referrals. It is something I have not experienced before. What that means is in January we are going to have evaluate how many families we can support moving forward.”
Ms Boyd reports the spike in need has stretched resources at The Singletons.
“I have not seen something like this before,” she said of the uptick in referral requests. “This has really stretched our organization in 2022. Donations are vital for us to include more families.”
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