Editor’s Note: My dear friend Marcy Franck has become very involved in helping Syrian refugees — both in Greece, and now in North America. (You can read her previous posts on Planet Waves here.) She’s currently trying to help one particular family still in Syria. — Amanda P.
I’m not sure what to make of the call I just had.
But I need your help.
Canada has an amazing private sponsorship program for refugees. Sponsor groups come in a few different forms–one of them is through community organizations. I have been calling every single one of them to advocate for an awesome Syrian family who desperately needs to leave Syria.
So I just got one man on the line — a totally nice guy who works as the head of the refugee sponsorship program at his organization.
I introduced myself as I always do: “Hi! My name is Marcy Franck. I am a US citizen living in Boston, and I’m trying to help a Syrian family find a sponsor group in Canada.”
Like, peels and gales of laughter.
This guy may have peed his pants, he was laughing so hard.
Between gasps of air he said, “Don’t…. don’t…. DON’T TELL TRUMP! Bahahahahahaha!”
I wasn’t expecting that. I didn’t have words, either.
Eventually I said, “I don’t care if Trump knows.”
…. as if someone would whisper it in his ear and get me in trouble?
The guy calmed himself down and said he was just kidding. I laughed nervously and promised I wouldn’t vote for Trump and then he answered all my questions.
This is what the world thinks of us. And that would account for how surprised most Canadian sponsor groups are when I introduce myself. I asked a few times if they get many calls from Americans who want to help sponsor refugees. Across the board, they say no.
I wish we had an opportunity to privately sponsor refugees in the US, but at the moment we don’t.
So I’m asking you for help: Please, please, share this post with any Canadian friend you have who is sympathetic to refugee issues. I don’t think many Canadians know what a special and powerful place they hold in the world right now. A group of any five Canadian citizens, each from a different household, can sponsor any number of refugees. There is no limit. And I need only one ally to help me form this “Group of 5″ to sponsor this family I am trying so desperately to get out of Syria. They are so lovely. They would make great neighbors. And they want to live.
The war rages on, and from one day to the next, I am never sure if my dear friends are still alive.
Sponsorship is a heavy lift, but it’s the most rewarding experience you could imagine. I will help with all of it: fundraising, communication, coordination, administration…. all of it.
This is your chance to help a Syrian family survive.
Will you help me do it?
Please, if you are Canadian, please PM me for details. If you know a Canadian person, please share. It never hurts to find out more, no obligation comes from asking.
P.S. This family understands that, to qualify for sponsorship, they need to leave Syria. They will leave immediately upon hearing that they have a group who will sponsor them. It is a Catch 22 — it’s more expensive to live in surrounding countries, and they can afford to do it for the time it will take to clear the application process, but they fear not being able to afford shelter and food indefinitely. Please don’t let this stop you from sponsoring! You will win friends for life. This family, and me.
You can say hello to Marcy and read all of her Facebook posts here to learn more about her work with Syrian refugees, and the work of others.