You can’t escape it. Everywhere you turn, people are talking about the Syrian refugee crisis, and with good reason. This is the worst refugee crisis since the Second World War.

The brutal realities of the situation have touched the hearts of us all. Twenty three people from the Westheights congregation have signed on to be a part of the Syrian Settlement Team, taking on the various roles and responsibilities that will be involved in successfully helping a Syrian refugee family settle in Canada.

Starting today, we are officially launching the giving page for our Westheights Refugee Sponsorship initiative. This giving page is live and ready to be shared with friends, family and coworkers.

    Please contribute to our settlement of a Syrian refugee family in Kitchener by donating here:

Please keep in mind, however, that we are starting out with phase one of a two phase plan.

We need your support:

PHASE ONE: Please share our giving page with your friends, family and coworkers by tweeting, posting on Facebook or sending an email. We’d love for you to reach out to your networks now, asking for financial support to assist with the settlement of the Syrian refugee family we are assigned.

PHASE TWO: Starts January 2016. We ask that those of us from Westheights wait to give financially to this project beginning in the New Year. We don’t want to affect the previously made commitments to Greater Things pledges nor the normal year-end offerings, which are vitally important to meeting the church’s annual budget requirements.

Consider getting involved :

Please take stock of any household items that you may be able to donate to the family we are sponsoring, and contact Heather Noble to find out if those items are needed. As well, be sure to hold on to any clothing that you have to donate until further notice, since we are waiting to determine which sizes are needed (any questions related to clothing collection can be directed to Lisa Coates-Cameron).

Also, if you or someone you know might be able to provide a storage space for items for the family so we can begin to collect donated furnishings, housewares, and more, please contact Heather Noble

If you are interested in joining the Syrian Settlement Team (SST), please contact Tony Fellbaum. People with a variety of different skills are needed for the sub-teams within the SST. Housing, fundraising, budgeting, employment, integration and wellness teams are all in place, however, each could use more members. Regardless of your availability, there will be a role to fit your personal schedule. Please don’t allow your scheduling needs to be a deterrent to volunteering, because there is a great deal of flexibility throughout the teams.

Thank you for helping to spread the word about Westheights Refugee Sponsorship! By giving us your support, you are playing a pivotal role in welcoming this family who is in need of care and support.

Syrian Mom with kids