Last week, Sudbury welcomed its first Syrian refugee family.  It is great to see the Sudbury community coming together through various initiatives to welcome our new neighbours.

The chamber would like to recognize and commend groups such as the City of Greater Sudbury (Local Immigration Partnership), the Church of Ascension, Valley View Community Church, the Capreol-Valley Refugee Sponsorship Group, St. Peter’s United Church, St. Andrew’s United Church, Sudbury Project Hope, the post-secondary institutions, the Islamic Association of Sudbury and Break Bread Sudbury, among others, who are all contributing to the local refugee initiative.  These organizations have been working tirelessly to raise funds and coordinate efforts to sponsor and settle Syrian refugees in Greater Sudbury and to make them feel at home.  These groups are true examples of community champions – their acts of kindness will help our community grow and will contribute to Greater Sudbury becoming a stronger city.  We also recognize the City’s leadership role in coordinating efforts to assist and welcome refugees.

Welcoming the Syrian refugees settling in Canada in the next weeks and months is an opportunity where we can do an enormous amount of good by working together and partnering to help in whatever ways we can.  As the refugees resettle and take the first steps towards becoming Canadians, they will need training and jobs. One of the most useful contributions you can make is to consider hiring a refugee and encouraging other businesses to do the same.  If you are a business willing to open your doors to the possibility of hiring Syrian refugees, please contact us at [email protected].

If you are a business or individual willing to support the refugees or would like further information on partnership, donation or sponsorship opportunities, please visit the City of Greater Sudbury’s website here.  This website also lists the community groups that are involved in sponsoring or providing services to Syrian refugees arriving in Greater Sudbury.  You can also find specific information on how to get involved on the Sudbury Immigration Services website.

To learn more about how to make a donation to help Syrian refugees, consult the Government of Canada refugee website here.

Another community initiative we wanted to advise you of is Break Bread Sudbury.  Break Bread Sudbury is comprised of community volunteers that have a mission to provide refugees with groceries from their part of the world so that they can feel welcomed into our community with foods that are familiar to their cultural diet. Currently, the group is in urgent need of funds to purchase and assemble custom grocery packages for the families arriving from Syria. To find out more about this worthy community initiative, or to make a donation, please visit Break Bread Sudbury’s website.

Your help and donations will go a long way in helping to welcome the refugees and making them feel like they have a place they can call home. We believe that not only our city, but our country will be enriched by the contributions that these refugees will bring to Canada’s culture, knowledge, skills base and growth. First and foremost, though, we must welcome them and make them feel at home.

The Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce values courage and we believe that these newcomers demonstrate inconceivable amounts of courage for departing their homeland in hopes of achieving safety and well-being for themselves and for their families in a new nation. Let’s show them that they have made a wise choice.

For questions or comments about this blog, feel free to email us at [email protected].

Until next time, all the best.