A Cadboro Bay church has met its fundraising goal needed to sponsor a family of Syrian refugees.
St. George’s Anglican Church launched a refugee sponsorship campaign late last year, with the goal to raise the $60,000 to $70,000 needed to support the family for a year.
“The concert [held at the church in December] was an amazing success and we have exceeded our fundraising expectations,” said Jennifer Handley, co-chair of St. George’s refugee steering committee.
She said a family of six refugees has been identified – a mother, father, two boys aged 11 and one and two girls aged 10 and eight – with the goal being to bring them to Victoria within the next month.
“We know very little about them other than they are currently in Jordan,” said Handley. “We don’t know how long they have been out of Syrian or what their hometown in Syria was.”
She said the group has rented a three-bedroom home in Esquimalt for the family, which has been furnished thanks to donations from the parish and community.
The church’s sponsorship efforts were met with a huge outpouring of support from the community, something that didn’t come as a surprise to Handley.
“I’m not [surprised] because I know people are inherently generous and when they hear about the need and they are able to respond, they respond as they are able, whether it’s $10 or $1,000, and it all makes a difference.”
Handley said St. George’s is working in conjunction with a number of other Anglican churches in hopes of staging another fundraiser to support Syrian refugees at the end of March at the Laurel Point Inn.
“There will be a live and silent auction for birdhouses, either created or decorated by local artists. We expect to have over 100 artists taking part,” she said.