I am thrilled to announce that the second Syrian refugee family we have committed to sponsor has been approved to immigrate to Quebec. The next step is to wait for federal approval that will grant them permanent residence in Canada. Once this happens, they will be on their way here.
This is a family of two parents with two university-age sons. John Inder and I had the pleasure of meeting them via Skype on Thursday. They are very happy to be coming to Montreal after very trying times. Both sons speak English and are looking forward to the opportunity to learn French.
As with the first family, we don’t know when this family will arrive. But we’ll keep you posted. We have nine teams of volunteers preparing to welcome both families. These teams are looking after all aspects of their integration: housing, education, job training, health, orientation, and more. I am amazed by the diligence of these groups. They have hit the ground running!
What can you do to support this effort?
•Offer gifts in kind. Take a look at the wish list for furniture, household goods, and other items Johana Salas recently sent. See what you can offer, or let your friends and family know what we are seeking.
•Raise funds. Several members have gone door-to-door asking friends and neighbours to give donations for our refugee sponsorship fund. Contact Margo Pineau or Normand Gosselin for a form to use to collect funds. The church is now issuing tax receipts for annual gifts of $25 or more, or people can give via Canada Helps, https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/unitarian-church-of-montreal/, and get a tax receipt for any amount.
•Send a message to your social networks. Here’s a message I’m posting on my personal Facebook page. I encourage you to do the same!
My church, the Unitarian Church of Montreal, has made a commitment to sponsor two Syrian refugee families; a family of nine and a family of four. Both families have been approved to immigrate to Quebec and will hopefully arrive in Montreal soon. You can help us make a difference in these families’ lives. Go to Canada Helpshttps://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/unitarian-church-of-montreal/ to make a donation. Don’t forget to note in the message box that your gift is for the UCM Refugee Sponsorship Fund.
Your gift will help to support the integration of both these families into a new, hopeful life in Canada. Please share this message with your networks. Thanks!
These are exciting times for our community. Thanks for all your support and encouragement.
Rev. Diane Rollert