Beautiful Acts of Generosity

Syria: children speak from Zaatari refugee camp - video

Fundraising is HARD. It’s my first time ever doing it seriously, and I have newfound respect for people who do this full-time and/or rely on fundraising to fuel their work. What an emotionally exhausting task it is.

For all the times I feel frustrated (and it happens more frequently than I’d like to admit!), there are incredible acts of generosity that seem to come out of nowhere and take me by surprise. They make up for all the challenges and are lovely reminders of how kind, compassionate, and loving human beings can be.

Today, for example, I got a phone call from a woman who’d read in the paper about our Refugee Fund. She told me her story, about how she was an infant in Prussia when her parents were forced to flee their home at gunpoint in wintertime. Her family of 7 people was dispersed throughout Europe, but eventually managed to reunite, all alive, at the end of World War 2.

She spoke of the generosity of strangers who helped her family along their brutal and terrifying journey, and expressed a desire to do the same for others. Now she lives in Canada and is retired, and has a large empty basement apartment that she wants to rent at a greatly reduced cost to our future refugee family.

Our conversation gave me goosebumps. I cannot relate to such personal tragedy or hardship, but I could hear the conviction in her voice and her determination to help, and it moved me deeply.

***

The phone has been ringing all day. We’re getting some serious news coverage, which is wonderful. Today, the Saugeen Shores Refugee Fund was featured on the front page of the Owen Sound Sun Times. You can read the article here. We were also covered by the local Shoreline Beacon this week, and I was interviewed earlier today by the Owen Sound radio station.

The local children’s boutique,¬†Bicyclette Rouge, will be matching all donations made to our fund during this weekend, which is extra-awesome because it’s Pumpkinfest — one of Port Elgin’s busiest weekends of the year. So if you’ve been wanting to shop AND donate, now’s the time!

We will also be set up at Pumpkinfest all weekend, in front of the Chamber of Commerce, so drop by to say hello.

Just remember: the sooner we get this money, the faster a family can leave a refugee camp and come to our beautiful town… perhaps in time for Christmas. What a wonderful gift to all of us that would be.

You can make a donation here.

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