Special by Benita Baerg
After months of preparations and, more recently, weeks of anxious waiting, the Oliver Syrian Refugee Support Committee is ecstatic to announce that the Al Lwisi family is days away from making Oliver their new home. The Al Lwisis, who have lived in a refugee tent camp in Beirut for at least two years, are scheduled to fly into Vancouver next Monday morning, and should arrive in Penticton or Kelowna later that evening or the next day.
“It is finally happening! I cannot wait to welcome ‘our’ Syrians!” says Brita Park, a member of the Committee. “Now the real work of helping them settle into life here begins.”
Given our community’s incredible support of the Committee’s efforts, we have confidence the Al Lwisis will be warmly and generously welcomed into Oliver. To date, we have raised just over $25,500 of the $30,000 we will need to support the Al Lwisis through their first year in Canada. Equally importantly, a huge number of people in our community have expressed hands-on and heartfelt support of this effort, offering items, time and enthusiasm.
A fully furnished rental house is all ready for the Al Lwisis; paperwork and last minute organizational details are being finalized; and the Committee is finally able to make plans for a rousing Welcome to Canada airport greeting. We are ready!
If you’d like to be part of helping the Al Lwisi family adjust to life in Oliver, we would love to hear from you! We are collecting names for all kinds of volunteer jobs, from driving and babysitting to language tutoring and socializing. If you would like to help us reach our fundraising goal before the Al Lwisis arrive, donate online at www.ctkoliver.org/refugees or check out details for other ways to donate here: http://oliverdailynews.com/the-al-lwisis-are-coming-olivers-syrian-family/.
In addition, we are still looking for a donation of a functioning desktop or laptop computer.
Finally, thank you, Oliver! Your support of this project shows, once again, why Oliver is a wonderful place to call home!