Gail Johnson is a mother of two beautiful children. She had everything under control until a divorce changed things.
"When you have two parents you always have that balance,” Gail Johnson said. “But when you are a single parent everything falls on you."
She's managed being a single parent for 10 years. But this past year was unimaginable.
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"Words can't describe that,” Johnson said. “This pandemic has stole so many things from families."
Her daughter's senior year prom, trips, and graduation ceremony all missed and no partner to help navigate with through it all.
"It's not only a milestone for her, it's a milestone for a single parent,” Johnson said. “It's a sense of accomplishment too for a single parent. Okay we got somewhere."
Fortunately, she wasn't totally alone.
"Single Parent Advocate has been instrumental in helping me cope," Johnson said.
Single Parent Advocate is a nonprofit that helps one parent households.
"Single Parent Advocate it's our goal to equip, empower, educate, and sort of be that bridge between what these families are able to generate themselves and really where they need to be to in order to raise their children," Single Parent Advocate Founder and Director Stacie Poythress said.
Poythress knows what's needed because she too is a single parent who couldn't find the help she needed.
So, she founded Single Parent Advocate to help fill the gap.
"Wanted in my heart of hearts for that period of time in my life, if I was going to be going through it, I didn't want to leave the space the same," Poythress said.
During the pandemic, they've provided care packages to single parent families.
But for 10 years they've offered many other services including support and networking.
Although they are both single mother’s, she said the organization also welcomes the other side of this issue.
“It's outstanding how many single dads kind of quote unquote suffer in silence,” Poythress said.
No matter whether a mother or father breaking a stigma and accepting help was something that helped Johnson realize an important message.
"You are not alone,” Johnson said. “Even though you are a single parent you are never alone."
A mission Poythress will keep pushing so single families find help, healing, and hope.
"There are people and a place for you," Poythress said.
March 21 is National Single Parent Day. It’s not meant to replace Mother’s or Father’s Day. It’s just a special day to acknowledge a single parent you may know.
To find out more about Single Parent Advocate click here.