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Syrian refugee family arrivals here have started

**UPDATE: The St. Augustine refugee family arrived January 15. The St. Anselm family was to arrive January 21.


The Church of St. Augustine, on Bayview, has partnered with St. Matthew’s Church, in Riverdale, and knew that a family of four, a mother, father and two girls, ages 3 and 6 months, were on their way. A successful fundraising campaign was chaired by Peter Shepard and myriad items stashed away in cupboards and garages. To help contact Gina Davidson at adriad@rogers.com, 416 484-1874.

Organizers of the family sponsored by St. Anselm’s was reluctant to divulge information about the family before their arrival, but report that they have had a very generous response from parishioners in donations of money and all things needed to set up a home in Canada.  They also have secured accommodation.

To help: Tim Wood at gerrardwood@rogers.com.

St. Cuthbert’s Church, to which I belong, has completed the paperwork with AURA, the Anglican United Refugee Alliance, and is waiting to hear that a family has been chosen.  We are starting to collect kitchenware and small household items, but are reluctant to be storing furniture and clothing until we know the composition of the family and some idea of the time of arrival.  Contact me:  ltkrawchuk8@aol.com, 416 425-4431.

Leaside Presbyterian is working with Presbyterian World Service and Development, and with two other churches, Rosedale Presbyterian Church and Morningside High Park Presbyterian Church, under a Coordinating Committee to make sure they have everything in place when they receive notice of their family.  Rev. Nick Athanasiadis at nick@leasidepresbyterianchurch.ca.

At Leaside United Church they are old hands at sponsoring refugees, having successfully done nine  since 1979/80.  They are partnering with several community groups and are looking to sponsor two groups of five to seven people each.  They have been inviting all interested in sponsorship to information sessions to provide support and reassurance to inexperienced sponsors. Help is  welcome.  Bob and Lis Lister, aelister@sympatico.ca, 416 757-1491.

Northlea United Church participants have been some of the beneficiaries of the Listers’ generosity with knowledge of the process.  The church has been fundraising and organizing.  There are plans for a fundraiser gala at Northlea on April 2.  They think they will be ready to submit a formal application to sponsor in February. Roger Touw, rogertouw@gmail.com, 416 425 4677.

To various degrees, each of the groups can use more money (and as churches, can give charitable donation receipts).  $40,000 is the recommended total for a family.  A lead on an affordable apartment, some willing drivers, furniture, bedding, kitchenware, some people to be friends….you name it, all are needed.