Preparing a warm welcome
People of Shaughnessy Heights United Church are preparing to greet a Syrian refugee family – a couple, both high school teachers, with a six-month-old baby, currently living in a refugee camp in northern Kurdish Iraq. Their cousin who lives in Burnaby immigrated four years ago and will work with us on this sponsorship project.
Paperwork is being finalized and the family’s arrival is likely mid to late January. They have United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) approval and this expedites the process.
How can you help…
Prayers: for the family, our sponsorship coordinating group, field workers in the middle east and here making preparations.
Accommodations: do you have unused space at home; an unused second home; or, an unused rental suite?
Clothing: Be on the lookout as you clean closets for adult male, adult female, infant girl (7 months). Shoe sizes 42 European. New or gently used, especially outwear suited to Vancouver winter.
General support: this will be a team effort. Help find job opportunities, drive family to various appointments, connect the family with community services.
Volunteer: Check our “help us” website of tasks created by Gayle Ansley for donation items and what needs doing when/after the family arrives. Talk with our coordinating group if you can volunteer time or expertise.
Stay informed: You’ll find background information here. In January, attend a Second Hour or workshop to learn how best to be helpful and respectful of privacy and autonomy, and how we can each support success. Attend a public information session, sessions by MOSAIC, the Immigration Lawyers Association and others.
Welcome: Stay tuned in early January to add your best wishes and picture to a congregational “welcome card” for the family on arrival.
Fundraising is underway. Response is encouraging and if you wish to contribute, please use the donate button on this page or make out a cheque to SHUC. In either case, specify the donation is for Refugee Sponsorship. Donations of $20 or more will receive a tax receipt if name and address are provided.