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Syrian Refugee Challenge

Last fall, a number of Temple Beth Ora members met to discuss ways members of our community could take action to help with the Syrian Refugee Crisis.  After obtaining member feedback and discussing with the board we came up with a number of ways our community could help.

The liberal government has committed to bringing 10000 refugees to Canada by the end of 2015 and 15000 by the end of February 2016.  It is estimated that up to 2000 refugees could be resettled in the Edmonton area.  Catholic Social Services has the federal contract to settle refugees in Edmonton.  

As a congregation, we have decided to focus our efforts on assisting refugees once they arrive in Edmonton by providing support to Catholic Social Services.  There are a number of ways we plan to provide this support.

1.)  We will be collecting clothing and household goods at TBO which will be donated to The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul and given to refugees once they arrive in Edmonton.  Many refugees will arrive in Edmonton with few personal belongings so please be generous.

2.)  TBO will start a collection of funds for Syrian Refugees which will then be donated to Catholic Social Services.  Donations may be made by cheque, credit card or cash in person, by phone or by e-mail.  To obtain a charitable receipt from TBO for income tax purposes,  donations should be made to TBO.  Please indicate it is for the Syrian Refugee fund.  Alternatively, donations may be made directly to Catholic Social Services.

3.)  Catholic Social Services is recruiting volunteers to help welcome and support Syrian Refugees when they arrive in Edmonton.  Roles that could be filled include: English tutor, medical companion, homework club or child minding.  A volunteer form may be filled out at:

http://www.catholicsocialservices.ab.ca or the Syrian Refugee volunteer line could be called -phone # 780-391-3338.

Many of you have expressed concern about this issue and a desire to help and take action.  I encourage you to do what you can to help welcome and support the newcomers to Edmonton.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Rachel Kligman

Social Action Lead