09/24/2015

While it is still early to say how many municipalities are answering AMO’s call for donations to support the resettlement of Syrian refugees, it is safe to say that we are a quarter of the way to reaching our $40,000 target.
In fact, some believe our goal should have been higher and they are giving far more than we asked.  

Two municipalities -- the Town of Ajax and Essex County -- have both pledged to donate $5,000!  

AMO issued the call for donations on September 9, and about a dozen municipalities, large and small, were quick to step up to the plate.

“It is difficult to assess exactly how many of Ontario’s municipalities are donating,” says AMO President Gary McNamara. “By now the request should be on Council agenda’s across the province, and we want to keep them moving.  Desperate families, and the agencies that are trying to support them, need our assistance right away.”

Ontario’s 444 municipalities are each being asked to give at least $100.

“Every bit helps. We also know many of Ontario’s municipalities are small with their own challenges.  And we know that some municipalities will give more than a $100, as Essex County and Ajax have.”

Donations can be made by cheque payable to Association of Municipalities of Ontario, with “Syrian Refugee Crisis” in the description field.  

“We’ve heard that some want to commit but cannot make the Friday, October 2 date.  That is okay but time is not a luxury.”  

The money will go to Lifeline Syria. The organization is working to resettle and integrate 1,000 Syrian refugees in Ontario over the next two years. In many cases they are helping existing Ontario families to assist relatives.

Lifeline Syria is a community-based initiative that is helping to recruit, train, and match private refugee sponsors in Ontario with Syrian refugees approved for resettlement by the federal government.

Sponsors will include organizations, individuals, or groups of individuals, such as faith-based groups. The Ontario government has provided seed funding to Lifeline Syria to support its work but it is reliant on public donations to fulfill its mandate.

More information about the organization and the initiative is found on the Lifeline Syria website.