Summerside home ready for Syrian refugee family

Published on January 4, 2016

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.

©Ancelene MacKinnon/Journal Pioneer

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.

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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.