Can We Help a Syrian Family?
By Jan Micklethwaite
At their most recent birthday parties, Maya and Sofia Maturo decided to request donations to the West Kootenay Friends of Refugees instead of presents. Their friends participated with enthusiasm and generosity. After counting carefully, the girls were pleased to present WKFoR member Jan Micklethwaite with $96.25.
The West Kootenay Friends of Refugees have successfully sponsored two refugee families since their formation in 2011. People in Trail and Rossland have donated money and goods to make the transition for these people more comfortable and the families are very grateful for the support.
As a registered group, the WKFoR is now receiving lengthy lists of Syrian families who have been approved for resettlement in Canada. It is heartbreaking to read about children needing medical attention and older people who are alone and vulnerable. At this time, it seems as though the families being listed are those who are in the greatest need. Because we have recently sponsored an Eritrean family, the West Kootenay Friends will need to start another fundraising drive so we can raise the money needed to provide care and housing for people who have left everything behind and have nothing. Our goal at this time is $15,000.00.
In this situation it is particularly impressive that young people like the Maturo sisters, the students of the Seven Summits Learning Centre and the Interact Club at J.L. Crowe are showing the way by taking on their own
initiatives. As nine-year-old Sofia Maturo put it, “ Some of my friends have had birthday parties where we donated to the S.P.C.A. I think animals are important but people are important too. That’s why I decided to help the refugees.” Her mother, Kate Mahoney confirmed that her daughters came up with the idea on their own.
As the season of giving approaches, please consider making a donation to the WKFoR by sending a cheque to Box 1597 Rossland, B.C. V0G 1Y0. Donations can also be made on our website through Paypal or at the Nelson and District Credit Union in Rossland. Tax receipts will be provided.
If you have ideas for fundraising possibilities or would like to join the group and get actively involved, please contact Jan at 250-362-5289 or Christine at 250-362-9916.