We’ve been busy!
In February, 2016, we achieved our first real milestone with the awarding of a Case File Number by The Department of Citizenship and Immigration (CIC). This was the culmination of effort by your United To Help Syrians Committee; our sponsor family in Syria for the completion of their part of the application; supporting translation by a Canadian Syrian; The United Church of Canada approval; and, finally, CIC approval.
This first part of the process was difficult, requiring the collaboration of all stakeholders in the process. Simply put, the time line to move our Syrian family to Canada really started with the awarding of the CIC approval number which, in our case, was February. Current CIC feedback tells us it will take anywhere from 5 – 23 months to see our family on Canadian soil. Throughout the summer and early fall, 2016, we have worked closely with MP Dean Allison to provide assistance to shorten this time line. Dean’s office is in direct contact with CIC to update family information as it comes available through intermediaries.
We are doing all we can to move our family to Grimsby as quickly and safely as possible.
The successful completion, and approval of our application by CIC is but one of the committee’s activities engaged in over the past nine months. To recap:
- As you can see, we launched this website and signed the services of Canada Helps to accept on-line donations. Not only was our website designed for free, it’s also maintained and hosted at no cost. (We’ve only spent about $35 on marketing).
- Fundraising has been ongoing. During the summer of 2016, our total surpassed the initial target of $27,000 set as a (bare) minimum standard to support a Syrian family for a year. Given the true cost of living in Canada, a more realistic goal of $40,000 was set and with your help we’ll surpass that amount.
- Special events have been taking place to support our efforts. We had a wildly successful sale in last spring and, most recently, a charitable initiative by a local business – https://www.stationonecoffeehouse.ca/ – raised over $500. We raise our cup to Station 1
- Since January 2017, we’ve been swelling our ranks to include more friendly faces around our table. Formalized committees are now being activated to help assist our family when they arrive. Many opportunities exist to provide hands-on support so our family becomes fully integrated in Canada. (This is where you come in!)
What can you do now?
Please pray for the family. Yes, your continued support of this process is vital if our family is going to be successful here in Canada.
Feel free to reach out to any of the United To Help Syrian Committee Members (contact info is near the top of the home page for one person from each church):
Larry Kent, Chair, Trinity United
Steve Geraedts, Vice Chair, Trinity United
Jane Scholer, Trinity United
Anne Brabant, Trinity United
Laurie Didyk-Mindorff, Trinity United
Ken & Lolly Pettigrew, Trinity United
Roger & Mary Lou Bradley, Trinity United
Becky Goulet, Trinity United
Derek Maggs, St. John’s Presbyterian
Karen Paterson, St. John’s Presbyterian
John VanDuzer, Fifty United
Joan Murray, Fifty United
Tom Suhadolc, Smithville United
Phil Harrison, Wesley United