Waterloo community gives generously to refugee efforts

December 16, 2015

Interest in supporting Syrian refugees is high in the Waterloo, Ont., region, reports the local newspaper. According to the Waterloo Region Record, local refugee advocates call the community’s response “astonishing.” So far Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Ontario, based in Kitchener, Ont., has collected $1.8 million from across the province. “We are amazed. It is quite unprecedented,” says Executive Director Rick Cober Bauman. He added that usually focused donations like this come to MCC as a result of a natural disaster. Approximately 150 Ontario groups are committed to sponsor refugees through MCC Ontario and are awaiting the arrival of the refugees. MCC is a sponsorship holder with the Canadian government and is holding the funds already collected to help with those sponsorships. Other local organizations are also gearing up to help, including the Waterloo Region Immigration Partnership, a group of more than 100 organizations and community members. At least two Syrian refugee families have already arrived in the region, and expectations are that approximately 1,150 Syrian refugees will start arriving soon, as part of the federal government’s goal of bringing 10,000 refugees to Canadian communities by the end of the year. The federal government has committed to bringing a total of 25,000 refugees to Canada by the end of February. –Waterloo Region Record

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