New Refugee Sponsorship Group Hosting Fundraiser Party

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by Katie Nolan

Amazing things happen at a kitchen party: food, music, companionship, sometimes a bit of dancing and, if you’re lucky (or unlucky, depending on your point of view), Uncle Wayne pulls out his accordion. The only thing better than a kitchen party is a kitchen party that is raising funds and awareness for a good cause. And here’s your invite to a party that is going to do just that.

A new refugee sponsorship group, Open Arms, has been established in Kemptville. The group is hosting a fundraising party on November 1, from 7-10 pm to help support the newcomer they are sponsoring.

The kitchen party-style event will be held at Catered Affairs on Kemptville Campus at 820 Heritage Drive. A song circle, light snacks and a cash bar will be a part of the evening. Entry is by donation and all are welcome to come for the evening or just drop in!

Open Arms is a group of local citizens who have come together with a common interest in helping others. Through Canada’s Blended Visa Office-Referred refugee sponsorship program (https://refugeehub.ca/program/bvor), we are reaching out to someone who needs help, and offering them the safety and support of our community to help them start a new life in Canada. The group is working in partnership with the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), which provides training, administration and support.

Sponsors commit to providing settlement support for the refugee’s first year in Canada. These supports include finding housing, providing furniture, clothing, and other basic necessities, orienting newly arrived refugees to the transportation system, connecting them with community services, offering friendship and moral support, and much more. The sponsorship lasts a year, but the friendships that are formed often endure far beyond the initial sponsorship period.

Open Arms has been matched with a newcomer, who is scheduled to arrive on November 6.

The sponsorship program provides financial support to cover very basic living expenses for the refugee’s first year in Canada. However, there are start-up and unexpected costs as well, and Open Arms is asking for help with these. The fundraising goal is $6200.

Your support as a donor would help ensure that the refugee obtains safe and secure housing, basic necessities, and help to set them up for success as they gain independence in our country.

If you are unable to attend the party, you can still contribute to the project online at this link. You will receive a charitable tax receipt for your donation. donate.mcccanada.ca/registry/open-arms

We have all chosen to live in North Grenville and we know why we like it in this community. You may have lived here a long time and you want to help someone else to get established here. Or you may be a newcomer yourself and find yourself wanting to reach out and make connections. Whichever it is, we invite you to come and meet new friends.

Oh, but Uncle Wayne, please leave your accordion behind this time.

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