Local churches are partnering to assist Afghan refugees desiring to come to Canada. Maple Grove United Church has successfully settled two families, with two more families in Turkey waiting to come and expected here by next spring. Three more families in desperate situations are hoping to escape from Afghanistan. These are the families that are going to need your help. Maple Grove United, Knox Presbyterian and Munn’s United have each pledged to sponsor one family. Glen Abbey United and St. John’s United have promised to help raise funds.
It costs about $40,000 for the year to sponsor a family as the sponsoring church is responsible for all living costs for that period. Raising the funds is difficult but aspects of the settlement work such as finding affordable accommodation and jobs can be equally challenging. Over the past twenty years declining church attendance has made it even more difficult to raise funds and find a team of active volunteers to engage in the many aspects of settlement work. Considering churches are responsible for almost all the non governmental sponsorship of refugees in Canada this raises concerns about how this system will function in the future.
Therefore, we have decided to expand our appeal to the broader community. Your donations will be used to pay for apartments (this is the biggest cost) and buy groceries and to pay for any items we do not receive as donations or in kind. Right now the focus is on raising money as we cannot send the application forms to the government until the money is in the bank.
So once again we are calling on you to help out. You have seen the situation and heard the stories on your television and computers. You know what is going on. Please give these people a hand. It is the only way for them to find freedom and safety.
To donate, just follow one of these steps:
1) Go to the Maple Grove United Church website https://maplegroveunitedchurch.org and press the “Please DONATE here” button at the bottom of the first page, click on “Afghani Refugees”.
2) Drop a cheque off at the church. There is a drop-box on the brick wall near the doors off the parking lot at the back of the building.
3) Mail a cheque marked “Afghanistan refugee fund” to Maple Grove United Church, 346 Maple Grove Road, Oakville, Ontario, L6J 4V5.
100% of donations will go to the families’ needs as there are no administration or overhead costs. Everyone involved is a volunteer. All donors will receive a tax receipt.