The Cochrane Syrian Refugee Support Group (CSRSG) is very close to reaching their fundraising goal of $55,000 to support two families who fled the conflict in their country.
CSRSG was formed in late 2015, after a group of concerned citizens met who wanted to do something about the Syrian refugee situation and help where they could.
They were able to formalize themselves and come together as a group in partnership with Mount St. Francis Retreat Centre, who offered bookkeeping, accounting services, and tax receipts, the centre also housed the families for their first month in Canada.
Jackie Shier, CSRSG member, shares the two families are enjoying being safe in Canada and are adjusting to the cultural change.
"They are so grateful for the Canadians and have mentioned many times that they didn't realize that when they came to a new country, they would also be given a new family. They're very grateful for the generosity of Cochranites, they think it's amazing."
The two families have been volunteering in the community, learning english, and both husbands now have their driver's license.
The core CSRSG group has about 12 or 13 members, Shier, says the group had lots of help from locals.
"We have an extended group of 50-60 volunteers who have helped out from the beginning" she says. "With donations, setting up the family, moving into their home, offering many hours of ESL lessons, advice, and encouragement. Just befriending them, coming with meals and visiting, there's a much larger group of people who have been helping."
CSRSG has reached 95% of their goal, and is hoping to reach it this fall by holding a fundraising concert.
If you would like to donate to the families cheque donations can be written out to Franciscan Friars and dropped off at the Family and Community Support Services (FCSS).
Shier says every cent donated goes directly to the refugee families.