The Sackville Refugee Response Coalition grew out of two public meetings held in October and November of 2015. At these meetings, a wide range of Sackville residents expressed their determination to take an active part in welcoming Syrian refugee families coming to Canada. They mandated the formation of a steering committee to coordinate fundraising, secure furnished housing, and prepare for effective integration of up to three families into the Sackville community.
Because their national offices already hold Refugee Sponsorship Agreements with the federal government, five local churches (Sackville United, Middle Sackville Baptist, St.Andrew’s Presbyterian, the Anglican Parish of Sackville and Dorchester, and Main Street Baptist) agreed to participate as official sponsors, to receive financial donations, and to issue tax receipts to donors. Other key partners in the coalition include Mount Allison University and the Sackville Rotary Club, as well as more than 100 active individual volunteers organized into close to a dozen working groups. Notes about the working groups and opportunities to assist them will be found on the “How to Help” page.
The SRRC is pursuing refugee sponsorship through the Government of Canada’s Blended Visa Office Referred Program, which is designed to resettle refugees identified by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees whose applications are submitted through Canadian offices abroad. This is referred to as a “blended” program because the cost to resettle is shared between a private sponsor (such as SRRC) and the federal government (Citizenship and Immigration Canada).
To sponsor a family of four, a private sponsor must have raised approximately $30,000 to help cover the cost of housing, utilities, food, clothing, furnishings and other household essentials for the first year. During that settlement period, Citizen and Immigration Canada also provides some funding to sponsored families.
Donations made to the SRRC are received and held in trust by the coalition’s five participating churches (Sackville United, Middle Sackville Baptist, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian, Anglican Parish of Sackville and Dorchester, and Main Street Baptist).
Several mechanisms are in place to ensure management of your generous donations to the SRRC so as to maximize the probability that sponsored families will become self-sufficient following the resettlement period. These include two working groups:
The Financial Management Committee will define procedures around expenditures and accessing funds held by the churches, and will keep records of revenues and expenses.
The Budgeting Committee will familiarize sponsored families with the cost of living in Sackville and help them with opening bank accounts and managing their household budget as needed.
All donated funds are managed and will be audited according to standards and practices mandated by Revenue Canada for registered charitable organizations.