North Langley church celebrates single parents

Breadwinner, chauffeur, cook, support system, friend counsellor, coach … the list of jobs a parent willingly tackles goes on and on.

For many, every one of these tasks fall on a single set of shoulders.

To recognize the effort and sacrifice single moms and dads make on a daily basis, North Langley Community Church (NLCC) is putting together its annual Super Single Parents Day.

The purpose of the event is to pamper single moms – as well as a growing number of single dads – and their children for one day by offering a variety of free services including workshops, car care (including oil changes, washing, and detailing), mini day spa, kids haircuts, a free kids boutique, family portraits, lunch for moms, and a barbecue lunch and barbecue lessons for dads.

The event is being held this Saturday, May 10, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at NLCC, 21015 96th Ave.

Space is limited and single parents must pre-register in advance to take part. You can register online, including signing up for each of the services offered, by clicking here.

What was Super Single Moms Day was changed last year to Super Single Parents Day, with the inclusion of six single dads to the 2013 celebration. Last year’s event attracted 125 parents and more than 200 kids plus 250 volunteers.

Janet Thiessen, pastor of women’s ministry and local missions at NLCC, said the only qualification to being pampered for a day is being a single parent.

“Some are young, some are older, some have little kids, some have grandkids, and they just have to be a single parent,” Thiessen said.

When the recipients arrive to the church, they receive a registration package that has all of their appointments included in it for the day.

Thiessen said raising kids is a hard enough job for two parents, and it’s double the workload for one.

“We just want single parents to know that we’re here to support them, and help them,” Thiessen said. “Many of us are single parents, or know single parents.”

Among the most popular services offered is a kids boutique.

“We collect donations for kids clothes and [the single parents] get to take home free clothes for their kids,” explained event administrator Janine Wall.

Thiessen said some parents have returned each of the four years the event has taken place.

Some of the feedback and reactions the volunteers have received have been memorable.

As they got into their newly detailed and washed car to leave the NLCC parking lot, a boy exclaimed, “Mom, this isn’t our car!”

The mom replied, “Yes it is, it’s just clean, now.”

Thiessen said the event takes on special meaning, being that it takes place the day before Mother’s Day.

 â€œWhen you’re a single parent, nobody celebrates Mother’s Day for you, especially when your kids are little,” she said. “It’s the dad that makes Mother’s Day happen for the mom. So it’s like Mother’s Day. That’s why we deliberately do it the Saturday before Mother’s Day. For these moms, it is Mother’s Day.”

Wall will be volunteering in her second Super Single Parents Day. Last year, she spent the day washing cars and said it was a rewarding experience.

Thiessen said there is “something really unique” about 250 volunteers getting together for a single purpose and “just getting together and giving and not expecting anything back.”

For example, changing the oil, washing, and detailing 80 cars is “not easy,” Thiessen said, but many return each year to lend their services.

Super Single Parents Day

What: Free event for single moms and dads

Where: North Langley Community Church,     21015 96th Ave.

When: Saturday, May 10, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Register: Online at nlcc.ca/singleparents

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