South Osborne Syrian Refugee Initiative To Sponsor Third Named Family
Following a unanimous vote January 24 by the congregation of Churchill Park United Church to amend the agreement with the South Osborne Syrian Refugee Initiative to add a third named family to sponsor, the Initiative is now officially proceeding with that addition.
We've also raised our GoFundMe goal to $90,000 from $60,000 to cover the additional costs. Due to the phenomenal success of our initial GoFundMe campaign aided by our very successful benefit concert, our total raised as of this change is over $73,400. This means we're already almost half way to covering our added $30,000 goal.
Our new family of four is a sister to Zainab Ali and husband Joseph Chaeban, our Winnipeg family. Saada Ali has three grown children Tiba, 20, Tarek, 19, and Barakat, 17. Saada fled to Lebanon with her husband, Ziad Al Abdellah, and family during heavy bombing around their home. When they learned of a lull in the fighting, her husband returned home to check on their property and never returned. He's presumed dead, but may have been arrested.
"Saada's family lives in cramped quarters with her refugee brother Kaled and his family, one of our already-sponsored families," co-founder and spokesperson Matthew Lawrence said. "If we didn't sponsor her family, she will be abandoned without family support once her brother comes to Canada. As a single mother, she is potentially more vulnerable than the other two families. This is a must do!"
The South Osborne Syrian Refugee Initiative has about 200 supporters, mainly living in the Riverview and Lord Roberts area, so it's quite possible a friend or neighbour in the area is involved. If you would like to help us reach this new goal, either as a new or previous donor, please consider a donation either through GoFundMe or Churchill Park United Church. (Cheque to specify Syrian refugees). A cheque avoids GoFundMe and credit card service fees of about eight percent.) All donations are eligible for a charitable tax receipt, so give generously.