Program connects, supports single parents

Christine June
415th Base Support Battalion

***image1***She knows what it is like trying to be well-organized, dependable and supportive, sacrificing time, money and energy.
That’s why Staff Sgt. Elizabeth Douglas, aviation resource manager, 86th Operations Support Squadron, is the president of the Single Parent Activity Network.
“I’m looking to help single parents coming and leaving the KMC and supporting them while they are here,” said Sergeant Douglas. “I want to organize a day-to-day support network for single parents.”
The 415th Base Support Battalion’s Army Community Service sponsors SPAN to provide support and services to help KMC single parents.
“It’s a chance for single parents in the KMC to meet each other to set up activities and outings,” said Holly MacDonald, case worker, 415th BSB ACS.
“We assist other parents with babysitting, helping out with studying and picking up children from school or as a sounding board for frustrated parents,” said Sergeant Douglas, who is currently studying for technical sergeant. “This is a support network of folks who know what it is like to be a single parent and the hardships of being on active duty or a Department of Defense civilian.”
“I joined SPAN because it is nice to have a group of people who have the same issues and understand that taking out the trash can be an ordeal for a single parent if the day has been long,” said Staff Sgt. Cinnamon Hood, technical order distribution officer facility manager, 435th Munitions Squadron and a SPAN member.
With a membership of 45 single parents, SPAN plans events for its members such as a zoo trip in March, Euro Disney trip in April and possibly, a trip to Holiday Park in the spring.
Sergeant Douglas is also in the process of getting a list of youths who would volunteer for babysitting services by trying to get them CPR certified for free.
“I would love to see the group’s scope increase and help single and military-to-military families who are E-3s and below,” said Sergeant Hood. “I would love to see those families get a commissary gift certificate or something of the sort.”
“I’m an old hat at this now, but I remember when it was not so easy,” she said. “One of the greatest things was getting a little support by money donations and just tender loving care.”
They meet at 11:30 a.m. the last Monday of the month at the Pizza Gallerie, Ramstein Community Center. The next meeting is Monday. Sergeant Douglas encourages members and interested personnel to attend the meetings and help plan events and activities for single parents and their children.
“SPAN is important because the military, no matter what branch, is our family, and we need to take care of each other,” said Sergeant Douglas. “We look after our troops down range, and we also need to look out for troops at home.”
“Our children are the precious part of our lives, and taking care of each other helps us to take care of our children,” she said. “Regardless of the circumstances, we all need someone or something at some time, and I believe SPAN can be the best resource for single parents everywhere.”
For more information, call 480-5664 or e-mail