'I really love my mom': Event helps children get gifts for their single mothers

Hundreds of kids got the chance to pick out a Mother's Day gift and custom flower bouquet free of charge at a special pop-up store.

On Saturday, nearly 500 children participated in Kaleo Collective's Love You Mamma event, which gathers donations from local stores and florists to let children from single-parent households get a gift for their mom.

Layna Haley, Kaleo Collective founder, said this year marked the seventh anniversary for the annual event hosted by the charity supporting single mothers.

"Being a single mom is the hardest job in the world and they are raising our future generations," Haley said. "So it seems very fitting to take a moment and honour them for that."

"The kids are so excited to go into the store and find something for their mom," Haley added. "And the moms are just so touched that somebody would put this on so their kids could do something for them."

Haley said five times more people registered to take part this year than in 2021, with the pandemic likely playing a role in that increase.

Ten-year-old Carter took his time walking through the pop-up store to find the perfect gift for his mom.

"When I thought about what she liked, like animals and stuff, I saw what I wanted to get her," he told CTV News Edmonton.

Danielle White, Carter's mom, said she appreciated the event for allowing kids to give back.

"I don't have somebody," White said. "I have family, but I don't have someone who can take him here today or for Mother's Day."

Teena Hughson said she remembered giving her mom gifts on Mother's Day and wanted to make sure her kids got the opportunity to make those memories.

"It gives them an opportunity to do something that I might not be able to offer them otherwise," Hughson said.

"It teaches them compassion, empathy, and appreciation," she added.

Jamie, her 9-year-old daughter, said her favourite part was picking flowers for her mom.

"I thought it was fun," Jamie said, adding Mother's Day is really important to her.

"Because I really love my mom," she said. "I love how much she loves me and that she takes me places like this."