Unless you are on a serious news diet, you know about the Syrian refugee crisis. More than 4 million Syrians have fled a civil war in their country.
Regular citizens have been stepping forward to help. Last summer, a campaign to bring 1,000 Syrian refugees to the GTA was launched by community leaders in Toronto. It’s called Lifeline Syria, and its mission is to help other regular folk sponsor refugees just like Torontonians did in 1979, bringing 33,000 Indochinese boat people to the city and helping them settle.
So far, more than 200 groups of neighbours, church and synagogue congregants, school parent council members, etc. have come together and pledged to help sponsor Syrian families.
A few of those groups live in the east end. Check out the Ripple group, and the East-West Refugee Collective. Each group has to raise at least $27,000 for the family’s first year in Canada. So, if you are looking at an easy way to help, writing a cheque would be it. (Full disclosure: I am part of the East-West Refugee Collective.)
But maybe you want to do more than write a cheque! If so, Monday is your chance to learn more. Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon is holding an information night on Monday, October 5 at 7 pm at Beach United Church (140 Wineva Ave.).
Both Alexandra Kotyk, the tireless force behind Lifeline Syria and Andrew Fitzgerald of the Ripple Refugee Project will be giving presentations about what’s involved in sponsoring a single refugee or refugee family. There will also be time at the end to mix and mingle with other east end groups that are forming.