Area United churches have come together to respond to the Syrian refugee crisis with a fundraiser they’re calling “Open Hearts—Open Doors.”
“We had planned to do an event, we’ve done it in the past, to raised money for a different organization,” explained Rev. Frances Flook.
“And so we had planned to do the event anyhow.
“But in light of all the recent stories about refugees and the emergency of the situation, we thought we would like the funds to go towards Syrian refugee relief,” she noted.
Rev. Flook said part of their church mandate is: “I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”
The fundraiser, which is set to take place this Saturday (Oct. 17) at 5 p.m. at the United Church in Emo, will feature a dinner of ham, scalloped potatoes, salads, and dessert.
A few fall decorative centrepieces also will be for sale, and there will be some entertainment, as well.
For instance, the choirs from the Knox United churches in both Fort Frances and Emo will be performing, as well as a kids’ choir, along with local singer Maverick Judson and Brenda Shodin of Kenora.
“There is no set admission fee—it will be a free-will offering,” Rev. Flook said, noting receipts will be given for donations of $20 or more.
“All are welcome,” she added. “Anyone who likes good food, entertainment, and wants to do something to respond to the terrible stories we are hearing.
“We want to bring hope.”
Funds will go towards Syrian refugee relief, whether it’s to local efforts through a district initiative, to projects in Winnipeg or Thunder Bay, or possibly on a national level.
Rev. Flook also said she’s hopeful something will come of Kathy Mueller’s proposal to have Fort Frances and surrounding areas sponsor a refugee family.
“We’ve brought refugee families here a couple of times,” she noted, citing as far back as the 1970s, which were a great success.
“So it can be done,” she remarked. “And it would bring us together as a district.”
Rev. Flook added we should open our hearts and our doors.
“In the end, we are all people,” she stressed.
“Everyone deserves safety and the ability to live.”
For more information about the “Open Hearts—Open Doors” fundraiser, call Janet at 482-2585 or Anne at 852-3691.