I don’t know where to start to say THANK YOU! to all of those who have made this possible. Starting with our Sponsorship Agreement Holder, Rosedale United Church, Claude Hould, Chair of the Rosedale United Church Refugee Committee, and his wife Linda. I want to thank the donors who opened their wallets, and those who donated in kind, that enabled us to completely furnish a three bedroom apartment. All of this could not have been done without the help of so many people that said “yes” when we needed help. It has been a roller coaster ride filled with so many emotions. This all could not have happened without the support of each and everyone of you – THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts!
We were finally given the date of our family’s arrival at the end of May – we had less than three weeks to find accommodations and set it up. Gill, Andre, and their daughter Samantha along with Melad and his wife, Azzis, went into action. They took on the job of finding a three bedroom apartment in Etobicoke – a near impossible task! Four days before our family’s arrival something was finally found. From there everything that had been in storage for the past four months had to be moved into the apartment. Furniture had to be organized, beds had to be purchased and set-up (IKEA), and boxes of donations had to be sorted with the missing items purchased just in time.
On Thursday morning, June 16th, the move began and by Sunday night, June 19th, thanks to a phenomenal set-up crew, Gill, Andre, Samantha, Kit, Melad and Azzis the set-up was complete, the fridge and cupboards were stocked, and all was ready for Monday morning’s arrival.
The work has now begun. Monday’s arrival was a little overwhelming for the family, who do not speak or understand English. After lunch and a short orientation, they were left to adjust to their new home and a much needed rest.
Tuesday morning, the Dugas family along with other members of our team, Melad, Azzis, and Samantha, began the task of integrating the family into the community. The children were taken to a health clinic where they received a complete check-up, were registered in the neighbourhood school where they were warmly welcomed and will be attending for the rest of this year and next September (…and they are going on a school field trip this morning).
The family was taken around and given an orientation to the neighbourhood and introduced to the shops and facilities in the area.
This has all been a whirlwind of activity. It has all been a success because of the generosity and kindness of everyone of you – thank you again and again.
I will keep you posted as we move along helping these new members of our Canadian family to adapt and become contributing members of this wonderful country.