It has been a while since my last post and I realize I have been slacking when it comes to this whole blog thing, but let me reassure you all that there are great reasons why.
When we started Single Moms Fresh Start 2 and a half years ago I had a vision of what this could be and how far it could go. I was so determined to see that vision become a reality and although we have come so far in 2 and half years I have gotten quite discouraged many times along the way.
See I am very impatient and impulsive and when things don't move quickly enough for me I begin to think that it will never happen and that gives me a bit of a set back. I begin to wonder if it will ever happen and I lose my drive and motivation to continue.
This winter was the worst of it for me I think. I was trying to register Single Moms Fresh Start as a recognized not for profit in the province of Ontario. I was taking all the right steps to do so but there was so much that I still did not know about running this type of organization. I finally submitted all the paper work necessary and waited for a response.
March 31, 2015 we finally got our registration in the mail and boy did that kick my drive and motivation in to gear 10 fold. Looking at that piece of paper was like seeing that light bulb in my head light up to the brightest it could possibly be. It was time to use this to its ability and get the ball rolling on turning my dream into a reality.
Being on the news and joining the panel on The Agenda was a great step for me but having a registration made this a reality. I began to look for connections to assist with the moms I have been helping. I went on a search for a family lawyer that could assist with legal advice and even posting some blog posts for educational purposes for our readers and clients of SMFS because I found that a lot of the questions I get are surrounding custody and support and although I have a ton of experience I am no lawyer and therefore can not provide concrete legal advice. I found a wonderful young woman in Toronto who was willing to meet with me and discuss some opportunities to work with our organization. When we met she was very willing to assist our clients who reside in the GTA and was happy to provide anyone with a free 30 min consultation for legal advice. As most know the legal aspects of a separation involving kids might be the most tedious. Its so overwhelming to create a custody and support order and no one knows where to start or how to go about doing it. Most don't want to bother because it seems to be too much work and headaches along the way. For everyone who comes to me looking for support and wanting to take advantage of our services my first form of advice to them is to always have a custody order in place. It is the safest thing to have to protect yourself and your children. It also allows a fair access agreement for the other party to see their children and be involved in their children's lives if they are willing to cooperate. That part is easy if both parties want the same thing, which would always be in the best interest of the children. It is when there is a disagreement that things get messy and that is where our lawyer, Melissa Stamkos of Garffin Zeidenberg LLP will come in. I know 30 minutes may not sound like a lot but when you are at a loss with your legal custody and support order and how to go about taking the next step into legal actions those 30 minutes could be just the relief you need during that extremely stressful time. If anyone in the GTA is in need of legal advice please email me at email@example.com and I can pass along Melissa's information for you.
We have also teamed up with a dental clinic in Toronto. Sarah and Josh Resnick run their own practice and Sarah reached out to me one day wanting to give back to Single Moms Fresh Start the best way she could. She spoke with her husband Josh who is a Dentist and they both agreed to provide free cleanings and emergency dental work to our clients that are in need. So far I have been able to send 4 clients to them and they have been nothing but wonderful in assisting with their needs at no charge. There are some beautiful and selfless people in this world and only while starting this organization had I realized how many there are out there wanting to help.
Currently I have been trying to register the organization as a charity and that way we can begin to apply for government funded grants to start up an office and begin parenting seminars. We have successfully built a board of directions and on the board are a group of wonderful single mothers that can bring forth both their knowledge and education to better this organization and assist in building it from the ground up.
I have been able to educate myself further on grant writing so that I can begin to write and apply for grants that are offered here in Ontario for Not for Profits like ours. In the near future we are planning to open an office in the GTA and begin to provide services that are being requested from all our wonderful followers and clients. We want to be able to facilitate seminars that can benefit all single parents and assist in eliminating depression, isolation, and poverty among single parent households. We want to build up our clients and make sure they are the most confident and strongest members of society. With an office we can provide those seminars and have a separate room for child minding so that each parent can feel comfortable attending the seminars knowing their children are at arms length away if they are needed. We want to provide services such as counselling, resume building, education courses on applications for jobs, second career education, university or college and of course continue to provide donations such as clothing, furniture and diapers. We want to give single mothers a chance to start over. After all we are all just looking for a fresh start. We want to have babysitting clubs, social events that single parents can attend with child minding provided, dinners, fundraising events, the list goes on and the possibilities are endless we just need to continue to receive the support of all of you and carry this dream to the very end one day at a time.
If you are in need of any support please don't hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out our website www.singlemomsfreshstart.org. Like our Facebook page www.facebook.com/SingleMomsFreshStart, and please keep reading our blogs.
We will continue to update everyone as we continue to grow and flourish making this the best organization for single mothers in and around the Greater Toronto Area.