The picture we will never forget.
Open Hearts in Our Welcoming Community
Parking the CARR
More than four years have flown by since the CARR was first set in motion. During that time the CARR helped twenty five people, whose lives had been torn apart by war and oppression, find their way successfully into our community and into our hearts. Over a year after the arrival of the final family, it is fair to say that all those who have arrived have personally benefitted by finding a home in a safe small Canadian town where adults and children can learn, grow and flourish.
We are no longer sponsors, we're friends ~ maybe even family ~ after one of the most powerful and satisfying commitments of our lives. Now we will be there for graduations, babies, weddings, citizenship ceremonies and to provide assistance when needed, as friends and families do. Above all, we hope one day to join them to quietly celebrate an end to the wars and violence that remain in their thoughts, even as they flourish in their new lives in Canada.
Our town, our province and our country are ongoing beneficiaries of the presence of these former refugees. The new arrivals are paying taxes, thus contributing to the federal and provincial economy. They are working in jobs with an ongoing demand for reliable employees, thus contributing to the local economy. They are spending their wages locally for housing, food and services, supporting local businesses. The children are enrolled in our schools and local children's activities, benefitting the local cultural community and our school boards.
With all of this success, we have now "Parked the CARR" and have deactivated the organization officially. Some members of the various family support teams will still be available to provide assistance to the families, as needed, in an unofficial "friend to friend" capacity.
The remaining funds have been put into the CARR Trust Fund (CTF), with three members of the CARR Executive having been designated as Trustees to provide financial assistance to the families if compelling financial needs arise, for a further period of time.
Prior to dissolution of The CARR Trust Fund, the trustees will transfer the remaining funds to the Perth and District Community Foundation's Ageless Migration Fund (AMF), a brand new fund designed to provide additional support for refugees and immigrants who come to live in the community, which is being set up as a legacy fund to honour the CARR's volunteers and donors. This fund has been named after a work of art donated to PDCF by fibre artist Robynne Cole, to depict the journey that many refugees and some immigrants are forced to make. The fund will be administered by PDCF using their traditional granting process. An initial contribution from the CARR has been approved by the CARR Executive to launch this new fund. It is our belief that this final distribution of funds provided by our generous donors will honour their wishes to support the successful integration of the refugee families we have sponsored and other refugees and immigrants who come to the community.
This website will be left standing on the net to thank all of the generous donors, partners and volunteers who made this voyage of the CARR a successful reality. We hope that it might also serve as an example for other organizations. Any further donations that are received through the Donate Now function on this website will be directed to the Ageless Migration Fund.
Who Were We?
The CARR was a grass-roots, non-profit organization centred in the community of Perth, Ontario, which was passionately dedicated to welcoming refugees to Canada and helping them integrate completely into our community, with the ultimate goal of becoming successful Canadian citizens. We have had the unwavering assistance of several key organizations, including: the Perth & District Community Foundation, the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa and St. James the Apostle Church of Perth. We have also had incredible support from the amazing citizens of this area in welcoming the refugee families and providing the essentials to ensure that their new lives in our community will be successful.
There have been so many tragic images emerging from the struggles for survival of the world's 4 million + refugees. These pictures struck a chord with so many of us locally and across Canada. For us, it was not possible to sit and watch: doing nothing was NOT an option!
In late September 2015 the wheels were set in motion when a group of citizens in our community came together to talk over and gauge interest in sponsoring refugee families to settle here in the Perth area. The interest was enthusiastic and it was clear that the feelings in our community reflected the broad Canadian generosity that was growing across the country, so The Community Alliance for Refugee Resettlement was formed ~ The CARR was set in motion.
The CARR picked up speed quickly as an executive committee was formed and Settlement Teams were developed. At our peak, we had over 150 volunteers on board, hard at work supporting the current families and gathering everything they would need to create a new life here in our community. The Perth & District Community Foundation graciously set up a fund to support The CARR and all donations have been being professionally managed by them.
We are happy to report that thanks to the generosity of people both inside and outside this community, we received more than $150,000 in donations. To our generous donors we say "THANK YOU"! This meant that we were right where we had hoped to be in terms of being able to welcome four Refugee families into the community. We were able to help two families to settle in Perth in 2016 and two more families arrived in the summer of 2018. Although they are at different stages in terms of their integration into the community, all four families have made good progress in terms of language, education, employment and other measures of integration, with the willing help of our volunteers.
We are thrilled to have been a part of something that continues to make a positive difference in the lives of new Canadians who had been living in such traumatic conditions and who had been forced to flee their homelands. We welcomed the support of the community as together we shared in this incredible Canadian response to the global refugee crises. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has stated that "It reflects our commitment to Canadians and demonstrates to the world that we have a shared responsibility to help people who are displaced and persecuted."
While we have now Parked the CARR officially, we would like to acknowledge the outpouring of expertise and support from our own community, which has been incredible. We still could use YOUR help, as neighbours and fellow citizens, in welcoming these new families and helping them to feel at home and safe in our community. Such welcoming gestures are really a proud and important part of Canada's humanitarian tradition!
How YOU Can Help Make A Difference…
While we are no longer seeking additional donations, or more volunteers for the work of the CARR, there are still things that you can do to help. We are encouraging donations to PDCF's Ageless Migration Fund. Please click on the "Donate" button to donate to the cause to keep the successor to the CARR, PDCF's Aging Migration Fund, moving forward in the fast lane. In addition, you can help to make the newcomers feel welcome by greeting them whenever your paths cross in the community and helping them to make new friends.
If you have any additional questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us.
Because unless you believe that the future can be better,
you are unlikely to step up and take responsibility for making it so.”
― Noam Chomsky
Welcome aboard The CARR!
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