Single mothers benefit from donations at florists

Donations help rebranded 1UP centre for single parents

Single mother Tania Wallace looks at a bouquet her daughters four-year-old Cianna

Single mother Tania Wallace looks at a bouquet her daughters four-year-old Cianna

Tania Wallace is no acrobat, but as a single parent of two young daughters she specializes in juggling everything life throws her.

It was tougher after her relationship ended, and she says she found the strength, information and support she desperately needed at 1UP – The Victoria Single Parent Resource Centre.

“I was very lost,” the Saanich resident said. “When I found out about the centre, I was relieved.”

That’s why when the community reaches out in support of single parents, it means a lot to Wallace, and to Liz Bloomfield, 1UP executive director. The centre also unveiled its new name and logos this week.

This Mother’s Day, 13 florists in Greater Victoria are offering specially designed cards that can be included for a donation in a Mother’s Day flower bouquet.

It’s a small act that can ensure programs and services continue to be offered at 1UP, which is funded by the United Way, the Victoria Foundation, the Vancouver Foundation, Success by Six and the province.

The number of single parents seeking help at 1UP is on the rise. Upwards of 1,700 clients contacted the centre in March – 300 more than usual. About 500 clients walk through its doors every month.

“In the last couple of years we saw a 40-per-cent increase in the use of our clothing and bread services at the height of the economic downtown,” Bloomfield explained.

She estimates one in five children live in a single-parent household – 80 per cent of which are headed by a single mom.

More than half of these families don’t earn enough money to pay for their basic needs, Bloomfied said.

“It’s a fear for anyone to become a single parent,” said Wallace, who continues to benefit from 1UP life skills and parenting courses not only for herself, but also for her kids.

“I want my daughters to see I am a very strong, independent woman who can succeed.”

emccracken@vicnews.com