PHOENIX - A cancer diagnosis is a devastating blow to any family, but it can hit single parents particularly hard when they're already struggling to keep their family happy and healthy on their own.
That's what Jody Farley saw when her childhood friend, Michelle Singleton, got sick.
She says an already tight budget got even thinner when her cancer forced her to stop working and eventually her own energy levels made it difficult to keep up with the daily chores, all while trying to make final memories with her kids.
Watching the struggle inspired Farley to start The Singletons in Michelle's honor and now the non-profit is growing to help families across the state.
"Single parents, even when they're healthy, work really hard to maintain their home and when they get sick, the budget is really stretched thin, so any way we can help ease the strain on that budget so they can focus on spending time as a family," said Farley.
The Singletons provides free care packages for single parents who either have cancer or have a child battling cancer. Basic household items are included, many that food stamps don't cover, and they also provide meals and will pay utility bills.
Clients can go online each month and build a wishlist of items they'd like in the care package.
Anyone applying for help with bill pay is vetted and can receive assistance multiple times a year. The organization just expanded into a new warehouse in North Phoenix, serving families in Maricopa and Pinal counties, and are working to service more areas north of the Valley.
Farley says community donations of goods and money make it possible for them to help a growing client list. Their annual fundraising gala is on April 14th.