We’re now collecting furniture and household provisions for our sponsored family, a task that is keeping our provisions co-leads (Bertha and Laurie) very busy. Thanks to Bertha Lopez and Laurie Chaffee Bent for all of their work fielding offers of furniture and arranging for pick-up and storage, and to our extended team of volunteers (including Bertha, Laurie, Andrew Harrison, Jay Mowat and Martin Rudd) for their help on moving days. A huge shout-out to Chris Naraysingh of the new “Rapid Rentals” at the north end of Erin, who has very kindly offered us free storage space which has made possible the collection of furniture as it becomes available. They make it look so easy! Andrew Harrison, Bertha Lopez, Abel Meza, and Laurie Chaffee Bent don’t look tired at all, despite having moved a full load of furniture out of a house and into storage at Rapid Rentals.
It’s been about two months since we started talking about sponsoring a refugee family. With the amount that has happened in that time it seems like we’ve been working on this for much longer. And we mean that in a good way! Here’s a brief update on some of the things that have been happening.
We’ve held some community meetings in town, inviting anyone and everyone to join us. So far we’ve used those meetings to talk about elements of the sponsorship process, and had a most informative discussion with Rita and John, who are originally from Syria, who gave us some insights on the refugee experience and resettlement in Ontario. We plan to hold ongoing community meetings every 6-8 weeks and hope you’ll join us!
We have a steering committee of 12 very dedicated people who have taken on areas of focus including finding accommodation, provisions, connecting with health and wellness providers, welcoming the family, overseeing the finances, fundraising, etc.
We’ve been fundraising. The Canadian government requires us to raise $27,000 to sponsor a family of four people. We’ve set our goal at $45,000 for a family of four, to allow for the possible repayment of their travel expenses (which could be up to $10,000) and because we think that the government requirement (which is based on social assistance payments) is too low for the first year of settlement.
We have an extremely generous anonymous donor, who has offered to match all donations for the first family. So far (with matching) we’ve raised $30,000.00! Thanks so much to the individuals and groups (e.g. Climate Change Action Group, part of Transition Erin) who have donated funds. We need your support to continue our fundraising and planning. Please contact us via the contact tab here.
As we said, so much has happened in two months and there’s lots more to do. We could use YOUR involvement to reach our fundraising and other goals, and in a future volunteer role once the family is here.