February 26, 2016 9:15 pm

NDG volunteers build apartment for incoming Syrian family

WATCH ABOVE: Saint Ignatius Parish in NDG is reaching out to the community to help support a Syrian refugee family who are on their way to Montreal. Global's Paola Samuel reports.


MONTREAL – Volunteers of NDG’s Saint-Ignatius Church were busy Friday afternoon putting the final touches on an apartment for an incoming Syrian family.

It’s a big undertaking to furnish an entire flat from scratch.

“We had to raise funds,” said Dany Holland, the volunteer organizer. “We’ve budgeted $32,000 for this family and we’re almost there, we have $24,000 or $25,000.”

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The project got the community together for an important cause, and for Norm Hannon, putting together a bedroom was a heart-warming experience.

“When we finish, we’ll sit back and say, ‘OK, now we see a kid sleeping there, a kid that’s comfortable, a kid that’s safe’ and that’s what we’re looking for,” he said.

“Canada does its part when people like Norm and I get together and pitch in,” Bob Cochran added.

The group had been told that its sponsored family would be arriving in late spring when organizers suddenly got a phone call that the family was in fact coming in three weeks.

Holland immediately sprung into action to put together his community team.

“We formed a cleaning crew, a furniture crew, a post-arrival crew. It’s been heart-warming with the support we’ve gotten from parishioners and the community.”

The father of the Syrian family is an accountant, the mother a dentist, but neither will be able to work in their chosen fields immediately.

The money the church is raising will pay rent and expenses for a year to give the family time to settle in and find work.

With the community on their side, the family has a strong headstart before even setting foot on Canadian soil

© 2016 Shaw Media

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