A group uniting Syrian refugees and Chilliwack, blew past the goal of $30,000, after a sold-out fundraiser Tuesday night at Bravo Restaurant.
“It made a lot of us tear up to know we had met and surpassed our goal in one night,” said Daris Lapointe, one of the REaCH organizers. “People were giving more than they had at times.”
The five-member REaCH team confirmed it had passed the $31,000 mark by Wednesday morning.
A good majority were “no-strings attached” donations, Lapointe said, along with proceeds from a silent auction and event ticket sales, which will go toward bringing Syrian refugees to Chilliwack.
“Because we made extra, it means we now have a few options.”
The original idea was sponsoring one family for one year.
“We now have decisions to make. We can look into sponsoring two families, or maybe sponsoring a much larger family,” Lapointe said. “The more kids and extended family members the better.”
One of the next tasks for REaCH is setting up housing accommodations.
“If we could find a house to rent that was subsidized in part, it would be wonderful,” she said. “The goal is to make the family as independent as possible.”
So far they have a rounded up a great base level of support through REaCH including a local physician and psychologist who have offered to help, and volunteers who will assist with language issues and ESL.
“We want to thank the people of Chilliwack for being so open, and for showing they really care outside their community.”
The team is selling tickets to another event, this time at Society Gathering House at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 16, for the $25 Burger & Beer fundraiser, hosted by Trevor McDonald. Tickets can be purchased at refugeesandchilliwack.com, or at The Book Man.