“Things seem to fall into place smoothly” for Valley Welcome

EGANVILLE – Volunteers from Valley Welcome met in Eganville on Saturday, December 5, to clean the house that will be home to the Syrian family they have recently sponsored. 
Elizabeth Freestone, who lives in Killaloe, is a co-ordinator for the Material Needs Committee of Valley Welcome, responsible for outfitting the house. 
It is anticipated that an extended family of nine will arrive in Canada shortly. 
Freestone said that the community response to helping sponsor a Syrian family in Renfrew County has been, “Fantastic…it’s just been overwhelming, it’s been wonderful. We’ve had many, many donations.” 
Freestone said these doantions have come from across the county, especially along the Hwy 60 corridor between Eganville and Barry’s Bay, and extending to Combermere. 
Freestone said that Valley Welcome had raised over $60,000 to date.
Being responsible for outfitting the house for the family, Freestone is especially pleased with three recent donations. Madonna House in Combermere made significant contributions to Valley Welcome. Value Village in Pembroke offered a box of clothing for each family member. The Ottawa Valley Islamic Centre had offered the services of two families to help the sponsored family settle more readily in Canada, helping the committee with translation and cultural support. The two families have offered, at their expense, to provide food for the Syrian family for two months.
Freestone said, “Things seem to fall into place smoothly. We have an excellent team of people. It has been a joy to work with them.” 
Several of the volunteers at the house said that cleaning the house gave them the chance to help.


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