Maybe the St. George’s Anglican Church should go into real estate.
After all, the Cadboro Bay church just raised more than $25,000 to find homes for Syrian refugees, while also providing more than 140 birdhouses for feathery friends on the Island.
Last week, members of the church’s refugee sponsorship project (with support from five other parishes) hosted the There’s No Place Like Home event at Laurel Point Inn, where birdhouses decorated by local artists were auctioned off to raise money for Syrian refugees. The event saw attendees open their hearts, and wallets, to help some refugee families in need.
“It was absolutely incredible,” said Ginny Glover, co-chair of the fundraising committee. “We had over 370 people, and we sold every single birdhouse. We did way beyond what we thought.”
The event was an offshoot of a fundraiser that Glover organized in Calgary a few years back, where about 150 artists painted chairs in extravagant ways for auction.
The auction saw a wide variety of birdhouses up for bidding, spanning all artistic styles and influences. While Glover and committee member Sheryl Fisher provided many traditional birdhouses to the artists, some opted to make their own, including a few glass and ceramic birdhouses.
“We ended up getting owl houses, glass houses, seaweed houses, architectural ones from the sculpture guild that I’m a part of – they just kept coming,” said Glover prior to the event. “I’ve had birdhouses dropped off on my door, from people who aren’t even on my list.”
Perhaps the biggest highlight of the night was the speech by the brother of a Syrian refugee who fled the war-torn country with her family and made it to the Island with the help of the church.
“Waseem spoke on behalf of the family – he’s the brother of Natasha, who we’ve sponsored to come here,” said Glover. “He was so touched and couldn’t believe the response from everybody.”
Glover said the event showcased what people can accomplish through positivity and a little effort, and that the money raised will do a lot of good for more refugees coming over to Vancouver Island.
“There was this incredible sense of community and people coming together to really do something positive for people,” she said. “I think everybody left with the belief that there is a real power of good out there in the community.”