Group raising money to help Syrian refugees coming to P.E.I.

Drake Lowthers
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A man kisses his child on a beach after crossing the Aegean sea in a dinghy with other refugees and migrants from Turkey to the northeastern Greek island of Lesbos, on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015.

Bonnie Stewart first got involved with the Syrian refugee campaign after seeing a photo circulated on the Internet of Alan Kurdi, the three-year-old Syrian boy who drowned while fleeing from Turkey.

The photo hit home as she has two little kids herself, she said.

“I wanted to see what a community could do in response to the refugee crisis and it’s been a good start.”

Under the umbrella of TrinityClifton United Church in Charlottetown, concerned individuals are working together to raise $100,000 to bring four Syrian families to Charlottetown.

Philip Whittaker, project co-ordinator, said the group has an application currently in process for a family of eight.

RELATED: P.E.I. set to welcome 250 Syrian refugees

That family is living in a refugee camp in Lebanon, where they have spent the last two years living in horrific conditions, he said.

“You have to have a minimum of $30,000 per family for their first year here and that covers everything from transportation, rent, food and clothing.”

Under the blended visa program, there is funding available through the federal government to cover 50 per cent of the family’s first year here.

To tap into a different network of contributors, they decided to create a GoFundMe campaign, in efforts to raise $25,000 Stewart said.

GoFundMe is a crowdfunding platform allowing people to raise money online.

In the first week of the campaign, it has raised $8,400.

“It’s been incredibly successful. Of the first $5,000, a third of the donations were from outside of P.E.I.”

Organizations: TrinityClifton United Church

Geographic location: P.E.I., Charlottetown, Turkey Lebanon

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Recent comments

  • Lisa
    November 27, 2015 - 10:12

    Yes Bill, you can take up the cause and start a group. Once you start that then come back and let us all know where to go to help. Until then......

  • Fed up
    November 27, 2015 - 09:49

    What are you going to use to house and feed them after the first month? What will you do when ISIS sneak in with them? They show the worst pictures....pull at your heart...but why aren't they going to western countries? They want free medical ....old age pensions almost right scary when Our seniors can't live on what government gives them!

  • sasha
    November 27, 2015 - 09:40

    @Bill kays: Perhaps you can do it yourself. Besides, these refugees are already "here", if you see "here" as planet Earth. The smaller your mind is, the smaller is "here".

  • We should all help
    November 27, 2015 - 08:48

    Yes Bill, you're right. You should make sure to donate some extra money/food/clothing to help those locally in need this Christmas. Some of the rest of us will help these poor families who have been living in a war zone for the last 2-3 years. We should try to help everyone. This is not an "either or" but a "yes and" situation. Come on, I thought Islanders were always willing to help those in need?

  • Bill kays
    November 27, 2015 - 05:51

    Perhaps the group could start by raising money for the people who are already here and on the street!