In 2010, Kim was a stay-at-home mom, raising four children – one with special needs, and fostering teenagers. With a divorce looming, she knew she had to act fast. She needed a job to take care of her family on her own, and to make sure her children wouldn’t be forever scared by the tough transition ahead.

While handling legal details, she also began to take employment and life-skills courses at YWCA Muskoka, and connected with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Muskoka (a United Way-funded agency) to seek matches for her two daughters and two sons.

“Especially at the beginning, I wanted them to have an impartial connection outside the family – someone else they could confide in and ask questions to if they wanted,” Kim recalls. “For a few years, it was challenging to be a mom with what I was going through, so it was good for them to have another adult to rely on. I thought it was to help the kids, but it ended up helping me as well since I was new to being a single mom.”

In the years that followed, she relied on many community supports in Bracebridge to move her journey forward: Victim Witness Assistance Program (for emotional support in court); Victim Services (for a safety plan and cell phone); Salvation Army (Food Bank, backpack program, Christmas help, etc.).

“The supports have helped me become more successful by being there in a crisis, by hosting events (that got me out meeting new people, as well as getting me to get up, get ready, forget about was what happening in my life at that time, and slap on a happy face. It showed me strength I never knew I had),” she explains. “Also, by taking courses that were offered. That helped me step back into the world and start having a positive outlook on life as well as helping me ‘recreate’ a new me. It gave me a fresh start.”

Now she’s working and volunteering in her community and considers herself a “successful single mom, whose kids are better, not bitter.” She likes knowing she’s taught them how to come back from challenges stronger than before, and the importance of supporting community organizations.

“On this end of the transition, I am literally getting ready to close that chapter of my life and move into the next one! I was doing everything I could just to survive over the past 5-6 years. As of right now, the kids and I are doing great! We are definitely looking forward to the next chapter!”

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