Guelph executive recognized for work with Syrian refugees

Jim Estill is being recognized in New York Monday for his work with settling Syrian refugee families in Guelph. Jim Estill / Facebook

Guelph executive Jim Estill will receive the Everyday Hero Award at The Global Hope Coalition Leadership Summit Monday night in New York City for his work with Syrian refugees.

The president and CEO of Danby Products gained attention in November 2015 when he used his own money to sponsor the immigration of 58 Syrian families to Guelph.

Estill paid all the costs, which is said to have been about $1.5 million.

“Arrangements were put in place to provide apartments, clothing, and English language instruction,” Global Hope said on their website. “Using his business network connections, Mr. Estill also helped arrange employment and career counselling. More than 800 local volunteers were registered and donated their time to the project.”

Global Hope said Estill is also helping a nine-year-old Guelph boy sponsor a Syrian family in Canada.

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In recognition of his efforts, Estill also received the Order of Ontario in June 2017.

READ MORE: Guelph Businessman/Philanthropist to Receive Order of Ontario

The Global Hope Coalition is a relatively new international initiative that hopes to fight against violent extremism and intolerance, preserves cultural heritage, and builds bridges across cultures.

Along with Estill, Monday’s black-tie gala will recognize Iraq President Fuad Masum, Mali President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, and former U.S. first lady Laura Bush.

French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to make a keynote speech.

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