Syrian refugee sponsorship group has collected $11,500

The Houston Group to Sponsor Syrian Refugees have made steps towards their goal of bringing in a Syrian refugee.

The Houston Group to Sponsor Syrian Refugees have made steps towards their goal of bringing in a Syrian refugee.

Co-chair Bobby Seinen said they have collected $11,500 from private donors that will go towards the estimated $34,000-$35,000 needed to support a family of five — an estimate based on 2014 World Renew’s literature. They are now trying to find further avenues for fundraising.

“We’re going out to research different fundraising activities,” said Seinen. “We’re going to contact a couple of community associations to see if they would be willing to support a raffle on behalf of [HGSSR], we are looking at perhaps a sports events, we’re looking at going into the schools and making presentations.”

The HGSSR wants to bring in a family of four or five. They are estimating that they might be able to access the federal child tax benefit.

The group will go through World Renew, a Christian Reformed Church organization, which Seinen said would provide charitable tax receipts and put 100 per cent of the funds raised towards the refugee.

She further added that the Mennonite Central Committee, which they wanted to go with initially, would not provide charitable tax receipts since the HGSSR wanted to pick their refugee. Furthermore, they would charge a 5 per cent administrative fee.

“For somebody who believes in charity, they give a lot during the course of the year, so it’s in their benefit to get a tax receipt,” she said.

At their Feb. 23 meeting, members raised the challenge of getting the word out. “We’re trying to raise awareness of the community and we’re wondering how to do that.”

So far, the HGSSR advertises on newspapers and posts signs on businesses. They do some outreach on social media too, and they are considering creating their own Facebook page.

The group also has to manage the challenges of the refugee’s life in the first year.

“I think it would be really unlikely that a refugee adult actively seek a job in the first year,” she said. “Because their certifications aren’t transferable to Canada.”

Seinen added that while there is no guarantee that the refugee Houston will receive will be skilled, even unskilled workers would find it hard because of the language barrier.

To solve them, the HGSSR will get volunteers to help in teaching English.

“I think the fear that some people have shared with me that they’re going to compete for local jobs is misplaced,” she said. “We’re prepared to support them financially for one year.”

 

Just Posted

Jill Mackenzie carefully replaces books on the shelves at the Houston Public Library. (Angelique Houlihan photo)
District approves annual library grant

Craft kits featured for summer reading club

The tradition of Houston Christian School grads giving Bibles to incoming kindergarten students will take place this year, but outdoors and in a modified fashion. (File photo)
Houston Christian School grad day is June 24

Grads themselves have set tone for the day, says teacher

Scott Richmond will be starting as the new vice principal for HSS and TSE. (Submitted/Houston Today)
Houston gets a new vice principal

Scott Richmond takes over from Dwayne Anderson who moved to Smithers

A Pacific Salmon Foundation grant of $3,000 is going towards the tree plantations. (Cindy Verbeek photo/Houston Today)
550 trees planted in Houston through A Rocha

Houston Christian School students and volunteers help with the tree planting

Currently the Houston station has 16 paramedics, two ambulances and one community paramedic vehicle. (File photo)
Retirement of longtime paramedics worries Houston community

“No loss of service,” assures BC Emergency Health Services

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

New research suggests wolves can be steered away from the endangered caribou herds they prey on by making the man-made trails they use to hunt harder to move along. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Culling cutlines, not B.C. wolves, key to preserving caribou herds: researcher

The government has turned to killing hundreds of wolves in an effort to keep caribou around

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Most Read