The AURA Bulletin
~ news & updates for refugee supporters ~
October 2019 | AURA's Quarterly Newsletter
Welcome to the latest edition of the AURA newsletter. Here, you will find: updates to our website, including a new resource section; the latest AURA Stories feature, this time with Stan Squires and how a small community came together to welcome and embrace change; the Ride for Refuge is THIS Saturday, there is still time to get involved; and, much more!

We also want you to know AURA will be moving offices soon. We have enjoyed many years here at St. Columba, but we are looking forward to being part of the vibrant community at the Church of St. Peter and St. Simon-the-Apostle. Our new location near Bloor and Sherbourne has much improved space and even has excellent TTC access.

Thank you for being part of the AURA community!
~ Alex and Marin (your AURA team)
AURA Stories: Stan Squires
“The sponsorship has been without a doubt the most valuable experience of my life."
~Stan Squires
Everyone involved in refugee sponsorship, whether newcomer or sponsor, have extraordinary stories to share.

This month we are pleased to share: Stan Squires - A community comes together to welcome and embrace change.

Deeply disturbed by the destruction in Syria in early 2016, Stan brought his community together to lead a refugee sponsorship through St. Saviours, Orono in response.

The sponsorship process was enlightening for Stan, who had not known much about the suffering of Syrians, let alone the Kurdish Syrians, prior to 2015. The strength of refugees, people forced from their homes, fleeing for their lives, inspired Stan to find his own strength and recognize his own privileges. 
Join us for the 2019 Ride for Refuge:
Photo: Ahmed getting his new bike shortly after arriving in Canada.
This Saturday, October 5th, is the Ride for Refuge, but there is still time to join an AURA team or sponsor a participant. By getting involved you'll be making a powerful impact and help refugees begin new lives in Canada.

This year, AURA has 11 teams participating. Each team has wonderful reasons for taking part and we would like to thank them all for their amazing efforts! We would like to tell you about one team in particular: 4AURAhope. This team is captained by Ahmed, a former Syrian refugee who arrived with his family in 2016 through a sponsorship in the Orono community. Ahmed chose to participate in this year’s Ride for Refuge as a way to give back and to thank those who welcomed him and his family.

Effective and empathetic volunteer sponsors do a wonderful job of welcoming and supporting refugees. Every dollar you help raise and the effort you contribute to the Ride fuels AURA in preparing and supporting volunteers. This ensures that refugees like Ahmed find a warm welcome in Canada.

World Refugee Day 2019 Brunch
We would like to thank everyone who joined us on June 23rd for AURA's World Refugee Day Brunch. It was truly wonderful having so many people gather together to commemorate the strength and courage of refugees around the world.

Everyone who attended was treated to a fantastic brunch, live music from a recently arrived refugee, and an informative discussion about empathy with CBC's Dr. Brian Goldman.
Click above to watch Dr. Brian Goldman as he talks about the first rule about being open to truly being emphatic.
We have a few SIGNED copies of Power of Kindness . If you would like to purchase one please email us at:
We would like to thank our sponsors who helped make the day and the silent auction possible:

  • Stone Cottage Pub
  • Scarborough Players
  • The Beech Tree Restaurant
  • The Porch Light Restaurant
  • Rouge Health Solutions
Ask AURA Anything:
Are Refugees Good for Canada?

Canada has a tradition of welcoming refugees, but as headlines and political discourse leading up to the election are increasing centered on xenophobia and fear there is a need to look at this question once again.

 Unfortunately, electioneering has brought a sharp increase in anti-immigrant and anti-refugee rhetoric here in Canada. Unabashed racism can be a major factor dictating such views.

To learn more about the statistics and the achievements of over one million refugees coming to Canada since 1980, click on the image to the left. Keeping these facts front of mind can be helpful when talking to people about election issues in the coming weeks.
Do you have a question?
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any sponsorship questions. We are here to help. Call the office at (416) 588-1612 or click the link below.
Election Resources:
The Federal election is coming up on October 21st. Over the years AURA has supported numerous refugees who have been forced from their home countries for wanting the right to vote in free elections. Don't take your right to vote for granted, make sure you cast an informed vote this year.

Here are a few resources that may help you make an informed choice on election day: