Coming soon: Our first refugee family!

Stouffville is very close to welcoming its refugee family.

Stouffville Cares, a volunteer community-based organization, expects to have its family in the community by late February.

It could take as long as March but they could also arrive any day.

We must be ready.

We know who our family is: they are six, including mom, dad and four school-aged children. They are from Daraa in southwestern Syria, just north of the border with Jordan.

Cares’ forms have all been signed and submitted to head office of the Presbyterian Church of Canada, our sponsoring organization. They were to officially submit them to the federal government by Feb. 1.

We wait and prepare.

Typically, groups are given only 24 to 48 hours notice prior to the arrival of their family.

Since Cares was launched in September, much has been accomplished. Since then:

  • The group has expanded greatly. Committees have been formed to tackle specific tasks, including settlement, events, fundraising, administration, housing and furnishings.
  • We have had more than 35 people at our montly general meetings, people from a wide range of backgrounds.
    As of Jan. 31, we have received more than $65,000 in donations. We have received other commitments – including a pledge from the 100 Women Who Care organization.
  • Our initial financial goal of $30,000 was accomplished in a short period of time. We expect our family to arrive in Stouffville in late February. We will give consideration to sponsoring a second family – once the first family is settled.

Thank you to more of our donors!

We thank the following for their donations to Stouffville Cares of furniture or household items:
Natalie Wood
Connie Wright
Rick Wall
Sarah Carrick
Richard Weir
Mary Andrews
Zeev Werek
Doug & Sharon Alles
Maya Wariyar
Indi Dhanraj
Louise Moyer
Kathi Gray
Dave Hoover
Stuart & Betty Young
Bruce & Joan Bostock
Nancy Constable
Carol Reynolds
Betty Young
Sandy Schell Kennedy & Richard Kennedy
Kathy Carrick
Sam Kewan
Heather &
Reid Andrews
Susan Murray
Rodney & Marg King
Elaine Teillet
Joan & John Brown
Bonnie & Ed Saunders
Tom & Sharon Dinsmore

Legion Soup Day February 6, 2016



They came out in droves for much more than a cup of hot soup on a cold day.

In Stouffville on Saturday the community came to the Royal Canadian Legion by the hundreds because they care – to help bring a Syrian refugee family to the community.

That was the goal of the Stouffville Cares “Soup Day At the Legion” fundraiser, which organizer Jason Wilson called “fantastic” as he estimated the crowd could top 300.

Though Wilson couldn’t provide a definitive number on cash raised from the event, he estimated based on the $10 entry fee and donations, plus raffles and silent auction, the proceeds could wind up in the $4,000 to $5,000 range.

The event was a big hit with longtime Stouffvillians Jean and Laurie Barclay.

“When we came they were lined up right out the door, we didn’t know if we would be able to get in,” said Jean. “The whole town has come. It’s great, the community cares.”

Wilson gave credit to the 12 local restaurants that donated soups (along with coffee, tea and bread) as well as raffle prizes and auction items.

“Once you see where the family came from that is coming here (to Stouffville), your heart melts,” said Wilson about any naysayers concerned about refugees coming to the community.

“The vast majority of the good people of Stouffville have supported us,” he said.

The next Stouffville Cares fundraiser will include Wilson’s band Jason Wilson and the Perennials, George Sawa as well as others at 19 on Park.

“After today, I’m sure we’re over the $70,000 mark in fundraising,” said Wilson who said he’s been told it costs about $35,000 a year to bring a family to a community. It’s estimated a Syrian family could be in Stouffville as soon as the end of February.

Credit: Stouffville Sun-Tribune/