Chilliwack shows it cares with ongoing refugee efforts

They're looking for individuals, or groups with resources to share to help those trying resettle in Canada

Vern Tompke

Vern Tompke

There are options in spades for anyone wanting to help Syrian refugees from Chilliwack at this point.

Chilliwack Cares, a local group acting as a hub to bring various efforts together, held a town meeting on this topic at city hall on Dec. 3.

“We had a great turnout. It was wonderful to see so many caring people from so many backgrounds,” said Vern Tompke, one of the organizers of Chilliwack Cares, along with Reg Toews, Ron Laser and Joan Hack.

Things are starting to fall into place.

“Just to let you know at this point it looks like we have seven or eight groups who have begun the process of sponsoring a family to come to Chilliwack,” said Tompke.

They’re looking for individuals, or groups with resources to share.

The goal is two-pronged: sponsoring refugees coming to Canada, as well as helping those in refugee camps, by working closely with Mennonite Central Committee.

“In partnership with MCC we are wanting to see at least $100,000 raised,” said Tompke.

The funds will be allocated 10% for MCC administration, 60% for sponsoring group support, and 30% to refugee camps, although the camp funds will be matched federally if received before Dec. 31 and donor info is provided.

There are ways to help. It could be a group coming forward to sponsor refugees, or a business owner with a venue to offer for fundraising. It could be faith groups willing to contribute Christmastime offerings, or artists who want to lend their talents.

There are a few tickets left for the REaCH fundraiser at Society Gathering House, Dec. 16. Tickets are $25 for the burger and beer event at Society with live entertainment.

Anyone with resources to share is invited to contact the organizers at Chilliwack Cares by email at chilliwackcares@shaw.ca

Check out  Chilliwack Refugee Support moderated by Wayne Froese to find out what’s happening around Chilliwack and area.