Chilliwack gets ready to help Syrian refugees

'They desperately need our help,'says founder of the online group, Chilliwack Refugee Support.

Chilliwack is scrambling to do its part to help Syrian refugees. It's happening on several levels at once

Chilliwack is scrambling to do its part to help Syrian refugees. It's happening on several levels at once

Chilliwack is scrambling to do its part to help Syrian refugees.

It’s happening on several levels at once, as the federal Liberal government pledged Canada would accept 25,000 pre-screened refugees before the year is out.

The province in turn said it will be ready for 3,500 from Syria and Iraq.

Support at this early stage is coming from some Chilliwack-oriented groups.

One called “Chilliwack Refugee Support” was started by Wayne Froese on social media to organize and discuss issues at the grass roots level.

“This group is focused on discussing how we can support that, and how to encourage our new government to stay the course and keep the 25,000-refugee commitment,” said Froese.

Part of the effort to coalesce support locally is the desire to counter some of the anti-refugee rhetoric that’s bubbled up.

“This is tragic, as it only adds to the suffering of the people least responsible: the refugees,” noted Froese. “Civil war in Syria has been raging for four years, pre-dating ISIS’ involvement by two years, resulting in four million refugees finding their way to Europe.

“They desperately need our help.”

There is expected to be some provincial funding, about $1 million, aside from the federal pledges.

Housing availability will be tough in Chilliwack, with limited rental stock as it is. Hundreds of units will be required across B.C. and there is talk of looking at emergency shelter beds.

Another social media community called Refugees and Chilliwack, or “REaCH” is working to unite support from Chilliwack to help a Syrian family.

“Chilliwack citizens! Let’s share our good fortune and work together to bring a Syrian family into our community,” according to the group page.

“We need numbers behind us as we work towards fundraising goals and needed items for the first refugee family that Chilliwack is able to sponsor.”

The online Facebook community will be used to communicate by reaching out “to a family that will soon be here with us, away from the insanity and desperation of the life they are living now.

“Open your hearts, and get ready to be a part of the light in this dark time in history.

“Together we can, and will create real change.”

The Reach community said it will be “mobilizing” soon.

Still another level of Chilliwack support is coming from the faith sector, an initiative called “Chilliwack Cares”. It is being spearheaded by Verne Tompke, pastor of Vineyard Community Church, and will be rolling out some local efforts soon.

Just Posted

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack is going to be renamed

Street name will have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack removes recognition of racist

Chilliwack Fire Department on scene at a house fire on Boundary Road and No. 4 Road on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (David Seltenrich/ Facebook)
Fire crews respond to house fire on border of Chilliwack and Abbotsford

Flames, dark smoke reported coming from front of house when crews arrived

Brandon Hobbs (turquoise shirt), brother of missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs, gathers with other family and friends to distribute posters in Chilliwack on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Search efforts expand to Chilliwack and beyond for missing Abbotsford man

Family, friends put up posters in Chilliwack, Agassiz, Hope for missing 22-year-old Adam Hobbs

Pig races at the 147th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 10, 2019. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Chilliwack Fair plans in-person event for 149th annual exhibition

Will be first large-scale, in-person event in over a year, provided regulations continue as planned

Vivian Le is one of two local recipients of a Beedie Luminaries scholarship.
Chilliwack students overcome adversity to win Beedie Luminaries scholarships

Sardis secondary’s Vivian Le and G.W. Graham’s Alisa Gusakova are among 112 students receiving money

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on Friday, February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
U.S. border restrictions to remain in place until at least July 21

Safety minister says Canada, U.S. extending restrictions on non-essential international travel

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

Most Read