Thank you to all who completed the online survey.  We are delighted to report that there is significant community support to proceed with an application to sponsor and an abundance of good will and offers to volunteer.  We are also delighted to report that the results were presented to the Riverview Park Community Association Board at their February meeting and they voted to donate $2500.00 to the initiative to kick-start the actual fund raising campaign as well as to fund our first community meeting.  Our thanks to the members of the Board for their support and generosity.
In a nutshell, the responses indicated the following:
·         91% support for sponsorship
·         Of those who support, 94% indicated they would donate money
·         The total number of respondents who indicated they would be on a Committee or might be once they know more:
o   Core Committee                               =          38
o   One or more sub-committees         =          50
o   Specific time limited tasks              =          56
In addition, the specific expertise offered in the responses is diverse and very impressive.  The support is more than encouraging and we are therefore moving forward with the intent to sponsor a Syrian family in 2016.
We will be partnering with the United Church of Canada through Emmanuel United Church. The United Church is already an approved agreement holder with Citizenship and Immigration Canada which means that our application to sponsor will be both faster and easier.   Emmanuel will issue charitable receipts which is a very significant benefit as well.  Our hope is that we will secure a family through a 50/50 funding arrangement with the government.  If we succeed, we will as a community need to raise approximately $20,000.00.  These agreements are however very much in demand by all sponsorship groups. If we do not succeed, we will endeavour to sponsor alone which means we need to raise as a community approximately $40,000.00.  Our responsibilities are to provide support for a family for their first full year of settlement and to help them be totally self-sufficient by the end of that first year. 
Once again, our sincere appreciation to all who responded and our delight with the levels of response and generosity. We will be calling an information/organizing meeting in mid-March at a location in the community yet to be determined.  We look forward very much to meeting with you.  If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact Lynne Bezanson at or 613-733-2946.