The Syrian Refugee Subgroup is welcoming in the New Year with gratitude and anticipation! To date we have received over $150,000 to support our Syrian newcomers - thank you to all for your tremendous generosity!
We have made initial contact with our first Syrian family, found through contacts in the Capital Rainbow Refuge group -- a husband and wife with three daughters (the oldest of whom is not coming to Canada because she is engaged to be married), a son, and one set of grandparents. We have also just found a second family through the Canadian government's Blended Visa Office Referral Program (BVOR). It includes a husband and wife and five children ranging from ages one to eight. We are going to wait a bit before starting the process to bring over a third family as we don’t want to over-tax our volunteers!
Speaking of volunteers, most of our teams are well in hand - they have met and some have started their work. The Housing Team has been actively looking for accommodations, contacting landlords, and following up on leads. The In-Kind Donations Team has created a full inventory and has been locating furniture and household items. We have also developed a Syrian Refugee Memorandum of Understanding Team who is in discussions with five private groups who wish to sponsor Syrian refugees through the Canadian Unitarian Council. We are offering our support to expedite their sponsorship process.
Our Syrian Refugee Subgroup is benefiting not only from the work and donations of our congregants but from many people outside the congregation who have been attracted by our work and principles and who have come forward to help. We appreciate everyone's contributions and look forward to welcoming our families and helping them settle in our community.
If you would like further information about our work with Syrian newcomers, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org