Anita Paget, who was once a single parent herself, wanted to do something to help others transition through the difficult time of separation and divorce. With the help of volunteers from her congregation, she launched “Just Me and the Kids,” a 12-week program that provides support for parents and children affected by marital breakup.
Paget found that churches are often unaware of the unique needs of single parents. “It can be difficult to connect when you have kids and you don’t have that spouse beside you. You can’t do couple things. You can’t do young-adult things, single things.” But the Just Me and the Kids program at Georgetown (Ont.) Christian Reformed Church is different. “Finally, this is somewhere I can go where people understand,” she said.
The program creates a safe space for children—who may not understand what’s going on—to talk with others. “They see they’re not the only ones who are experiencing divorcing or separating parents,” said Paget.
Childcare, which many single parents can’t afford, is built into the program, and church volunteers provide a meal. “As a single parent it’s hard to find a sitter. It’s really nice because [the parents] don’t have to worry about cooking dinner.”
Paget is heartened when families broken by divorce come to see that there is hope. “Our hope is in God. Parents need to know that there’s hope for them too and that while [life] will be different, it will be better in some ways too.”