We are a Canadian Association of single, separated, divorced or widowed parents who have come together for friendship and support. We may be at any stage of our journey as a single parent – from never married — to recently divorced — to on our own for many years and in a relationship.
Our goal is create an environment which fosters the physical, mental and emotional health of both the parent and the children. Those that are farther along in the journey are able to provide support to others based upon their experiences. Helping others is as beneficial to those giving the support as it is to those receiving it.
We are a volunteer organization and the contribution of our time and efforts are part of our membership obligations. Volunteering is an integral part of the Association and it directly affects the success the activities. Assuming director positions in the Chapter or National organization provides even more opportunities to volunteer and contribute – and opportunities for personal growth in many ways.
Our Association was established as a Non-Profit group in 1973 and we obtained National Charity status in 1981. While we grew rapidly in the age before the digital age and established Chapters in Alberta, Ontario and Quebec, we currently only have Chapters in Ontario. On line organizations like Meet Up offer many opportunities to do various activities and connect with others but fail in most cases to offer the opportunities for support and personal growth that the OPFA does. As many long time members will attest, you may join for the kids but you’ll stay for the friendships.
We are structured with a National Board overseeing smaller Chapters which serve the needs of the members in an area. The National Board also has responsibilities to ensure that the organization files an annual tax return and obtains insurance on behalf of the organization which protects members and participants at all events, as well as covering Directors at the Chapter or National level. The National Board also oversees the bylaws that govern the organization, address any legal matters that might arise, keep Chapters and their Directors apprised of pertinent legal and regulatory issues that affect the organization, and oversee the general operations of the organization.
Each Chapter is an independent entity with its own Directors, bank account, fundraising, activities, etc. There are annual elections to elect Directors and full disclosure of all financial activities to the Chapter membership. There are Chapter bylaws that govern the organization and operation of the Chapter.