Update from Byron United: Our Donations At Work!

Pastor Greg Brawn writes with more good news. Their congregation needed $20,000 to sponsor a third family. Metropolitan United, to which members of our little Western Friends of Refugees donated last month, came through with about three times that. A grand total of $59,000.

As a result, another “sponsorship team” from Byron United is in the process of making application to sponsor a fourth and fifth family.


“Tenting in the Parking Lot”

The Oakridge United Church here in London is holding a fun and creative fundraiser on Friday October 30th on behalf of Refugees to Canada.  Starting at 6:30 p.m., there will be a “camp site” with overnight tents, hot dogs, s’mores, music and dialogue with local refugees. There will be a breakfast the next morning at 8.

The location is 970 Oxford St. West… in the church parking lot!

This is a first event in a series, aiming ultimately to raise $60,000 from the Presbytery of London.

Alex Scholz describes the event as follows:

The event will involve participants tenting over night to gather pledges to support the initiative. We are strongly encouraging folks to come out for any part of the program that seems of interest to them and do not expect them to spend the night outside. This is an all ages event and everyone is welcome including those who would like to drop-in for segments of the program. Anyone who would like to tent over night and collect pledges should email us at refugeestocanada@gmail.com or visit our facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/refugeestocanada.

Another Family Arrives Soon. And More Sponsorships Are Underway.

Pastor Greg Brawn of Byron United wrote to share some great news. They have their paperwork ready for a third family, presently located in Lebanon. We can expect them in London soon.

Meanwhile, members at Byron are forming yet another sponsorship team with the aim of bringing a fourth and maybe a fifth family. All of this from one local church.

The wheels are turning.

Youth Group for New Arrivals

Ms Sabina Shah and several of her friends at Oakridge Secondary School are putting together a youth group that “would meet once a week and run activities or games that would help provide [newly arrived kids] support and hopefully something to look forward to as they transition into their new lives.” What a terrific idea!

She and her group will be applying for a United Way youth grant to help pay for initial expenses.

What you can do…

a) If you know of a refugee family whose children would benefit from this, please contact Ms Shah directly at <sabinashah89@gmail.com>.

b) If you have experience in applying for United Way grants, and could provide guidance/tips to these students, please get in touch with her as well.

c) If you are a high school student elsewhere and want to team up with these Oakridge folks, please do so.

“Task Force Leaders”

At our meeting at the end of September, we divided our tasks strategically into four: advocacy, fund raising, processing sponsorship applications, and welcoming/settling families. I wanted to share the names and contact information of the leaders of each sub-group, so that volunteers know who to get in touch with. Here they are:

Workshop on Refugee Sponsorship. October 31st

There will be another workshop on refugee sponsorship. It is being organized by the United Church Middlesex Presbytery Division of Mission and Outreach.

The date is Sat. Oct. 31 from 9 am-12. The location is Siloam United Church at 1240 Fanshawe Park Rd. E.

There will be two speaker panels. The first will be two speakers outlining the different types of sponsorships and how to go about applying for them. The second panel will be several groups who have actually sponsored refugees. They will be providing tips on applying and on resettlement of the families.

For more information, please contact Carolyn Murray at <seaotter50@yahoo.ca>.

Three Bedroom House Available

Valy Marochko of the London Cross Cultural Learner Centre (CCLC) has been approached by a family who wishes to donate the use of an entire house to an in-coming refugee family. This is terrific!

If your group has a family arriving soon that needs medium-term housing, or if you are putting together an application and need an in-kind donation of many months of housing, please get in touch directly with Mr. Marochko. His contact information is:

Valerian Marochko, PhD, MBA, CMC
Executive Director
London Cross Cultural Learner Centre (CCLC)
505 Dundas Street
London, ON   N6B 1W4
Tel: 519-432-1133  ext. 235
Fax: 519-660-6168
Email: valerian.marochko@lcclc.org