Monday, November 2, 2015

How to actually help Syrian refugees

Syria to Guelph Solidarity Walk for refugees blog

Twitter is a great place. You get to interact and engage with people from all over the world, hashtags are born, and memes are shared.
Another great and potentially life saving part of Twitter is the ability for news to spread quickly and widely. I was browsing through it as one does on a lazy Sunday afternoon and I saw that there was a fundraising walk happening in Guelph, the city I live in, and decide to join. The Syria to Guelph Solidarity Walk was held to raise awareness and funds for Syrian refugees. Those holding the event aim to sponsor a family by providing a "safe, welcoming home in Guelph." Organizers had participants walk 11 km across the city carrying suitcases and bags. Many families with small children were involved. They planned the route so that it would not form a loop, as refugees don't have the luxury of circling back and returning home. Organizers plan to raise $32,000 and so far they've already raised about $18,000... And that's only from October 1st! Other than their ability to raise funds quickly (their efforts were helped by local newspapers), I was impressed by the organizers themselves who are social workers, refugee advocates, and others who have worked with settlement and immigration services. These guys know what they're doing and will be well equipped to help Syrian refugees settle in to life in a new country. They not only have plans for raising money, but for actually helping out a family after they've arrived.

Syria to Guelph Solidarity Walk for refugees blog

And Guelph as a city seems to be supportive as well! The walk itself was able to raise $1,000 and lots of cars driving by honked in solidarity. There was only one curmudgeony old man who insisted on walking his Russell Terrier through our group of people on the sidewalk. I feel bad for his dog.

Syria to Guelph Solidarity Walk for refugees downtown Guelph blog

If you'd like to donate or find out more information about the campaign Syria to Guelph: Sponsor a Syrian Refugee Family, you can do so through their Indiegogo website. You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter. Let's all hope they reach their goal!

Syria to Guelph Solidarity Walk for refugees signs blog

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