Summerside home ready for Syrian refugee family

Desiree Anstey
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Heather Johnston with the Syria to Summerside group arranges clothing that has been donated to support Syrian families that will soon be coming to the city.

SUMMERSIDE - Handmade welcome home cards will greet a family of six Syrian refugees as they step inside their new Summerside home nestled in a family-friendly suburb, one that oozes warmth, character and personality, nestled in a family-friendly suburb.

Heather Johnston, co-ordinator for the supplies of the house, said everyone who came to see the open house on Dec. 30 had the opportunity to leave a welcoming note and see what had been accomplished.

“We want them to know they won’t be alone as they settle into a new life,” said Johnston. “Children from the church also created cards.”

The three-bedroom home contains two bathrooms, a living room, kitchen, and completed basement — all furnished through donations given to the community group, Syria to Summerside, which is sponsoring the family.

The committee raised more than $60,000 in funds and donations for the two Syrian families they are sponsoring.

Since fundraising has been such a success, they are now looking at sponsoring a third family.

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

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Rev. Dr. Arthur Davies, one of the ministers with Trinity United Church, said volunteer groups were allocated particular rooms so nothing would be missed — from toothpaste, pots and pans, cleaning essentials, and even bed linen — when designing the home’s interior.

“Summerside Presbyterian Church furnished and designed the kitchen, and made sure it was clean,” said Davies. “Other groups looked after the bathrooms, bedrooms…and we painted where it needed to be painted.”

Each room has been carefully colour-co-ordinated to offer the perfect recipe for a calming — yet functional — interior.

Textured donated carpets coat the upstairs and equally impressive solid hardwood flooring layers the first floor.

A moody, masculine, bedroom with warm blue fabrics and bunk beds will offer a retreat for the boys, who are aged nine and five.

And two single beds draped with cozy handmade quilts, toys, and a few pools of light that create a harmonious environment, will welcome the girls, who are aged 14 and three.

Funds raised through the community group will supplement the families’ rent and utility costs for one year.

And the families will be on a strict budget once they finally arrive.

Organizations: Trinity United Church

Geographic location: Summerside, Syria

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Recent comments

  • KA Clark
    January 05, 2016 - 05:48

    So proud of this Summerside community group. Their efforts and the support they have rallied by the community is truly amazing.

  • KA Clark
    January 04, 2016 - 21:51

    So proud of this Summerside community group. Their efforts and the support they have rallied by the community is truly amazing.

  • sikofit
    January 04, 2016 - 11:24

    That's it give yourselves a pat on the back ..... you made the news ..... But yet you turn the other way when you see the homeless and poor folk that live right here on this Island........ Give these refugees hand outs and pay them to live here and let your neighbor that fell on hard times be hungry and live on the street ....... You should pat yourselves on the back as you turn blind eyes to the poverty right here at home !!!!!!

    • mutt
      January 04, 2016 - 13:20

      Agree... we should solve our own domestic problems before worrying about the rest of the world

    • Cromwell
      January 04, 2016 - 16:37

      I fully agree! These otherwise normal, well-intentioned people have been deluded by the biased reporting of the CBC and its sycophantic supporters, which in this case is 'The Guardian into believing that these Syrian migrants were at risk. In reality, the vast majority of Syrians have never been involved in any war zones, but have 'fled' for purely economic reasons. I n 2009, prior to the Obama-inspired 'Arab Spring', with the Sunni Saudi Arabia-sponsored onslaught against the Shi'ite Syrian government, entirely for regime change, Syria was in total economic disarray, with unemployment at some 30%, more than 2 million Syrians moved to Lebanon to find work. Once the media-inspired coverage of the Middle East became news, these economic migrants became 'refugees', and applied for sanctuary in Western countries. Like you, I would much rather see the generosity of Islanders directed to our own needy, but that won't make the news.

    • Couldn't Have Said it Better
      January 04, 2016 - 16:56

      This above post couldn't have said it better . Charity should begin at home . I completely agree with the above post & glad to see that someone has the gut's to state what a lot of people believe & are too scared to say in public .