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by Angela Geiser
Being a single parent comes with its share of challenges – but being alone doesn’t have to be one of them. Many single parents have found a great source of support in the Bay Area Single Parents Meetup Group. The organization not only is a source of friendship for single parents and their kids, but with some 500 members, it’s practically a community. Sam Leung of San Jose, the group’s leader and the dad of a 12-year-old son, shares what has made his group important to so many Silicon Valley single parents.
To get single parents out talking with each other for support and hopefully, to enhance a few lives in the process. This group is our opportunity to help each other out, simply have fun or find someone who understands.
Our founder, Teresa Callen, formed the group in 2008. I was nominated to take over the group in April 2009, and we have 500 members as of today. We have newly single parents and long-time single parents, with kids ranging from very young to grown and out on their own. Members live throughout the Peninsula and as far south as Gilroy.
Members get to take part and help organize the group’s events, as well as build a social network with other Bay Area single parents. There is no cost for membership.
We have many social and parenting-related events. One example is Parent Talk, which we hold at an apartment community room. The organizer selects a topic to share, such as single parenting, and the members hold an open discussion and enjoy a potluck meal. We had 26 events in March alone, some for adults but many for our kids, too. Our members attended a dueling piano show, a pizza dinner and Alice in Wonderland, a concert, a bike ride on the Portola Loop and extreme bowling, to name a few.
What I enjoy most is how we get to share our stories and the experience of being single parents. Being a single dad comes with challenges that you don’t get to experience while you were with your partner. No training can prepare us to be a good single parent. But I learn from other single parents and share my own experience as well. I also get to see our kids building friendships through family events. This helps them to realize that they are not alone.
Look us up by typing “Bay Area Single Parents Meetup Group” into their search engine and finding us through meetup.com.
Angela Geiser is the calendar editor for Bay Area Parent.
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