Refugee Sponsorship

Applewood United, along with First United in Port Credit and St. Stephen’s-on-the-Hill in Lorne Park, with added support from Port Carling United in Muskoka, came together in October 2015 to form SEAM, the SouthEAst Mississauga Constituent Group, for the purpose of assisting Syrian refugees coming to Canada. The Applewood delegates to SEAM are Gus Peebles, Scott Perkin, Elaine Borlace and Reg Perkin. SEAM has met almost every week since October.
Fundraising went well, with a generous assist from the Ann Graham Memorial Trust at Applewood. We raised sufficient funds for SEAM to make a commitment through the United Church of Canada to support two refugee families. In addition to money, the members of the three churches contributed furniture and household items in numbers large enough to furnish the apartment for our first family and still have some in storage for the second family when they arrive later this year.

Refugee SponsorshipThe Alsaadi family of six arrived in Canada on February 10th. The father Mohammad has a Masters degree in Agriculture, and the mother Faiza Abdullah has a MD degree and training in Obstetrics and Gynecology. They have a boy Bahaa age 8, and three girls, Zena age 6, Sham age 4, and Deema age 3 this month. We booked the family into a suite at the Ports Hotel in Port Credit for the first week while we readied the three bedroom ground floor apartment we had leased on Bloor Street East. The family moved into their new home on February 17th, and Bahaa and Zena started attending Silverthorn Public School two days later. SEAM members have been with the family almost every day helping with driving, shopping, medical appointments, registrations, etc., assisted when needed by volunteer translators. On February 29th, Mohammad and Faiza started the LINC program of English language training held Monday to Friday at Dixie Bloor Neighbourhood Services, where Sham and Deema will attend the daycare. This is a delightful, well-educated family who are thrilled to be in Canada after leaving Syria in 2013, walking to Jordan and spending three years in a refugee camp.
A very special event occurred at Applewood on Feb 18th when our Youth Group hosted the Alsaadi family and presented each of the four children with personalized backpacks loaded with age-related gifts that they had prepared for them. The smiles, laughter and joy filled the hearts of all of us present, and the heartfelt words of thanks from Mohammad brought tears to our eyes. To the Youth Group members and leaders – Good job, well done!
– Reg Perkin; on behalf of Gus, Scott, Elaine and the other members of SEAM