It costs $30-thousand dollars to sponsor a family of Syrian Refugees. This weekend, between two different fundraisers a quarter of that money was raised.
A concert was held at Shiraz Restaurant Saturday night where close to $1000 was raised.
On Sunday, a fundraiser was held at Exploration Place. That event brought in $6500.
Sixteen year old Lila Mansour addressed the crowd at the Exploration Place and explained she’s thrilled about the arrival of Syrian Refugees in Prince George.
“I’m incredibly excited. I never imagined that I might grow up in a place where there’s a lot of Syrians. I always grew up being one of the only Syrians in Prince George.”
Mansour moved to Prince George with her family in 2006 after spending time in Quesnel and the United States. As the only Syrian family in town, Mansour says they will be able to help refugees adjust to life in Canada.
“I’d love to be there to help them and make them feel welcome in a country that I love and enjoy living in. It’s a major culture shock. I personally know Arabic and speak English. I personally think I could be a translator at that time.”
At the fundraiser, the community had the opportunity to learn more about Syria and the plights of incoming refugees.
The event was organized by Richard Parks and Hira Rashid. Rashid says the event was made possible with the help of community sponsors.
“We had a silent auction happening here in the main area. A lot of amazing community members and businesses donated some amazing items.”
Everyone was invited to sign a banner that will be displayed when refugees arrive. There was kids artwork on display and letters that will be given to refugee children when they arrive.
Refugees arrival dates are still unknown, privately sponsored refugees will be the first to come.
Mansour knows that when they make it to Prince George, they will feel welcome.
“It’s amazing to know that what brings us together is the want to help humanity and make people feel safe and bring them to Canada because Canada is such a wonderful country and our community is so diverse and it’s amazing to know that people care about each other.”
When the refugees make it, Mansour and many others from the community can’t wait to help.