The Collingwood Syrian Family Sponsorship team has been hard at work in preparation for the arrival in Collingwood of our two Syrian families. The exact date of those arrivals is unknown, but always imminent, so it's important that everything be in the fullest state of readiness that we can manage....and, we are well on our way!
There are two temporary homes to secure and furnish, transport from Toronto and around Town to arrange and above all, to be fully prepared to welcome our newcomers and make them feel at home in the community. We also have a committee of ESL teachers and helpers in place, ready to start in teaching English to our new residents. There is a myriad of tasks to complete and you can see a full list of Committees and Contacts on the COMMITTEE page.
The first photo below features four of the Bozan children being introduced to Canada Day by Mayor Sandra Cooper. It is followed by students and a teacher representing St. Mary's school. (L-R: Mrs. Tina Moneypenny, Leah Ray, Abigail Denomme, Lydia Mirrlees, Adriana Baric, and Collingwood-Syrian Sponsorship Committee member, Mr. Thom Vincent). Staff and students at St. Mary's raised and donated over $1000. for the sponsorship effort. A very big Thank You! to them for their big hearts and hard work on behalf of the community. The next picture of a gathering is one of several heald with the general public – here with a speaker from AURA, the sponsorship organization we are working with to facilitate our refugee families.
Over a weekend last spring, some 43 local volunteers logged more than 300 hours unloading a mountain of unsorted clothing gathered by the organization Simcoe Cares. The two days were organized by our housing and clothing committee in generous co operation with Trinity United Church. The clothes, toys, bedding and personal hygiene items were sorted into seasons, categories and sizes for boys and girls, men and women. Everything was carefully folded, and packed into boxes, reloaded onto the truck. These donations will be for distribution to other communities in Souther Ontario who will be welcoming much larger numbers of Syrian families. And, yes, we did manage to hold back a good selection for our first family! Earlier photos are of volunteers working the storage lockers that hold the many donations of household goods and furnishings we have received and as well, a look at the homes that we have arranged to lease for the Bozan family's first year in Collingwood.