The holiday season is upon us.
December 2015 — We’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support and let you know how we’re doing at Syrian Refuge Bracebridge.
What is Syrian Refuge Bracebridge?
Formed in October 2015 by the Bracebridge United Church, Syrian Refuge Bracebridge is a group of citizens united by a shared concern for the Syrian refugee crisis working together to help sponsor the settlement of a Syrian refugee family in Bracebridge and to assist them for one year while they start a new life in Canada.
How to connect with us
Website | Facebook | Email | Donate online through Indiegogo
You do not have to be affiliated with the church to become involved, nor is there any expectation that the family be Christian or become involved in the church.
How many Muskoka groups are there?
Syrian Refuge Bracebridge is one of a number of groups in Muskoka working to sponsor Syrian refugees. Here is a list of others that we are aware of. There may be others.
Syrian Refugee Sponsorship Huntsville
Contact: Website | Facebook | email
• Fundraising to bring two families
Syrian Refugees Gravenhurst
• This group has identified their family
Central Muskoka Syrian Relief
Contact: 705-645-7508 | email
• Includes Rotary Bracebridge, Rotary Port Carling, Knox Presbyterian Church, Parish of Muskoka Lakes, St Joseph’s, St. Trinity, and Trinity St. Albans
• working to bring in two families
While all Muskoka groups are working to stay connected and to share resources and advice, we are working most closely with the Central Muskoka Syrian Relief. Keith Montgomery is on both working groups and we have agreed to pool our resource list.
We are proud to let you know that with your help Syrian Refuge Bracebridge has raised more than $28,000! About $25,000 of that is by cheque or cash and $3,000 through our online Indiegogo fund.
That exceeds our minimum goal of $27,000+. But we are going to keep fundraising. As you know, that is not a lot of money to support a family of four in Muskoka for a year.
Thank you again for your donations!
In addition to monetary donations, we have received numerous offers of in-kind support from individuals and groups in the community and beyond, including;
- ESL teaching
- Settlement assistance from a Bracebridge native who works in a new Canadians’ office elsewhere
- Cultural sensitivity workshops
- Computer and phone tech assistance
- Moving the family in
- Greeting party
- Hand-knitted Tuques with welcome messages (from 25,000 Tuques – Muskoka)
- Several local not-for-profit and helping organizations have offered their assistance as and when needed
- Household goods
- And many many offers that are less specific; “How can we help?”
Thank you! We have created a resource database and will call on you again when we have more information about where and when you are needed. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have ideas, questions or concerns in the meantime.
As of our latest meeting on December 15, our application paperwork well underway.
We brainstormed what tasks might fall into which category, with the four main categories (for now) being;
2) Finances & Fundraising
3) Community Relations & Communication
If you can see yourself in a particular working group in one of these categories, let us know!
We have been told that the timeline could be four to six months, but the information seems to change so quickly, it could be longer — or shorter. The key is to be ready, and to be flexible.
Tell Your Friends
We encourage you to tell your friends and colleagues about our group and to have them contact us directly if they wish to pitch in.
We believe that housing will be one of the most critical pieces of the puzzle because we don’t know when the family will be arriving and we don’t know how much notice we will have. If you know a landlord or someone in real estate business, please ask them to connect with us. We are not expecting free accommodation, but we may need to find affordable accommodation at short notice.
Thank you again for your support.
Our contact information is above and in the links below. Unsubscribe and Update links are also below. Please share this email with interested friends we may have missed and invite them to email us to be added to our list. We plan to send updates regularly.
Have a wonderful Christmas and new year!
Nancy Knox, Keith Montgomery, Susie Phillips, Kim Schroeder, Tamsen Tillson, Carol Turner and Ken Turner
Syrian Refugee Working Group
Syrian Refuge Bracebridge