Our generous contributors
The following list recognizes some of the many businesses and organizations that contributed to the success of The Bay Refugee Project by providing services, fundraising support, and other assistance. Please recognize these generous donors and support local!
Acadian Maple Products
Anglican Diocese of Nova Scotia and PEI
Aspotagan Ridge Golf Resort
Atlantic Sleep Therapeutics, Clayton Park
BMO Bank of Montreal, Mumford Road – Samer Jarad
The Bay Treasure Chest
Bloom Greenhouse and Garden Center
Canadian Tire Tantallon
Citadel Oral Surgery - Dr. Morrison
Chester Community Wheels
Crossroads Family Practice - Dr. Shauna Herman
East Coast Dance Academy
East Coast School of Languages
Eurocentres Atlantic Canada
Granville Dental Center - Dr. Knoll
Halifax County United Soccer
The Halifax Shopping Centre
The Head Shoppe- Halifax Shopping Centre
Highlander Law - Dianna Rievaj
Hubbards Chiropractic - Dr. Chrissy Fahie
Hubbards Family Dental Clinic - Dr. DeViller
Hubbards Historical Society
Hubbards Medical - Dr. Reza Mehrpooya
Hop Skip and Jump
Dr. I. A. Mendleson & Associates
Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS)
Lawton’s Drug Store
Lego Adventure Birthday Parties
The MAC Store – Halifax Shopping Centre
Marriott Harbourfront Hotel Halifax
Mom2Bee - Dr. Abouellail
Monarch Brokers Limited
Mother Nature’s Natural Therapy Clinic Bedford
Our Lady of Lebanon Catholic Parish
Oceanstone Inn and Cottages and Rhubarb Grill
Oceanview Garden Centre
Props Floral Design
Provident Developments - Basim Sobeih
Quake Matthews - Hip Hop Recording Artist
Recardo’s Take Out-Pizza
Roots and Boots
Chef Martin Ruiz Salvador & Sylvie Ruiz Salvador
Shatford School and staff
The Shatford Trust
Shining Waters Marina
The Shore Club
Sir John A MacDonald High School and staff
Saint Lawrence Kitchen Catering - Larry Fogg
St. Anthony’s Catholic Parish
St. Augustine’s Catholic Parish
St. Luke’s Anglican Parish
St. Luke’s United Parish
St. Margaret’s Bay Dental - Dr. Barry Brundige
St. Margaret’s Recreation Centre
St. Marguerite Bourgeoys Parish
Sugar Moon Farm, Earltown
Summit Dentistry, Beford - Dr. Asraa El Darahali
Tantallon Community Medical Clinic - Dr. Catherine Quakenbush
Tantallon Dental Center - Dr. Ian MacAskill & Dr. Yettie & team
Tantallon Elementary and staff
Ummah Mosque and Community Centre
Yoga instructors Bonnie Vanchuk, Brenda Mailer and Jane Britten
...and many local artists who contributed art for the fundraiser!
It has been nearly two years since a group from around St. Margaret’s Bay formed The Bay Refugee Project, an organization dedicated to helping Syrian families settle in our area. We launched the BRP with a sense of urgency and excitement, as well as trepidation - we knew very little about the sponsorship process, who we would be matched with, or how much going through the experience of sponsorship would change us.
The BRP launched quickly, and the Bay community would exceed our expectations at every turn; we could easily have furnished a dozen families with clothes and household goods! Individuals, groups, and businesses donated funds, time, services, and space, and we reached our fundraising goals in record time. And then we waited.
The sponsorship process is complex, and the government’s commitment to resettle 25,000 refugees in 2016 caused a long queue for processing. The BRP had identified a rental home in Hubbards, so while we waited for our sponsored families, we began assisting a recently-arrived Syrian family who were looking for a home in a rural area. The Zeina family is now well-established in Hubbards; Mr. Zeina is working in his field as a tiler, and their four children are thriving and enjoying school. Mrs. Zeina has impressed with her rapid acquisition of English.
After six months, the Al Badin and Barbar families finally arrived, settling into neighbouring homes in Tantallon. The arrival was thrilling and nerve-wracking, as neither the sponsors nor the families know what to expect. We tried to imagine how we would manage if we suddenly had to navigate a new country, language, home, food, and customs. Those first months were a steep learning curve for everyone, and a day rarely passed without a volunteer visiting, driving, making appointments, shopping, and helping with school and work.
We learned so much together. We felt heartache over everything that our friends had to leave behind, as well as joy at the arrival of a new baby born in Canada. We had to dig deep into our resources – there was always so much to consider, unexpected challenges, and wonderful moments of connection. Mr. Al Badin found a perfect home for his pastry skills at Julien’s Bakery, and the Najdat family are developing a love of the Canadian outdoors, learning to swim and fish. After a whirlwind year, and the families are now considering the next phase of their lives here, choosing their next homes and developing their career and education options. After years of uncertainty, new choices and a greater sense of peace can be shared between us, no longer as sponsors and sponsored, but as friends.
Emily King - Chair of Bay Refugee Project
The Zeina family are moving to a new and better situated house in Hubbards next week and we're short a few things. Check the link on our In-kind donations registry. Also, if you're able to come out for a couple hours on Wednesday, February 1 to help with the move, please let us know.
If you look closely, you'll notice Ruba is expecting another child. Yahoo! A second little boy is joining the Al Badin family Jan. 3 and we need a few things to give him a soft landing.
Please check out the in-kind donations page for more information.
The Al Badin family arrived in Halifax last night, greeted by members of the Bay Refugee Project committee and the Zeina family. Thanks to everyone who has helped make this possible.
Now that the Zeina family is settled in Hubbards, we're ready to welcome the Al Badin family in a little over two weeks! After waiting for what seemed like forever, they made it through all the screenings and bureaucracy, so it's time for us to get their house in Tantallon together and to make sure they succeed as well as the Zeina's have.
The family are: Ruwad Al Badin (age 34) , his wife Ruba Hrez (age 29) and 5 year old son Albeer Al Badin. We can also share the exciting news that Ruba is expecting her 2nd child in January, so eventually baby items will be needed as well.
If you're wondering how to help get them off on the right foot, there are several ways, big and small:
1) Make a donation: Our in-kind donations registry has been updated and lists all the needed household items and clothing for our new neighbours. Please visit the registry page, and fill out the form to share new or gently-used items.
2) Volunteer your time: For people in the Tantallon area, we are going to need drivers, drivers and more drivers and the more we have, the less we have to ask of each person, so tell a friend! We need to help the family attend many appointments, grocery stores, English lessons, etc., and in the first months after their arrival, this will be critical. A small amount of your time can make a tremendous impact on their lives. If you are able to lend a hand, check in at our volunteer registry.
3) Continue supporting the Ziena family: Much of our people power is going to be refocused on setting the Al Badin’s in Tantallon, so we're going to need new volunteers in the Hubbards area to help keep the Zeina's on the move. Waffa is now working and has recently earned her learner's permit, so we except they will be self-sufficient in the near future, but we need to keep them mobile until then. Sign up on the volunteer registry if you can help out.
4) Be the Hubbard’s Area Volunteer Coordinator: This is a big one. We're need someone or a couple someones to coordinate volunteers in the Hubbards area, so our current coordinators can focus on settling our new family. This is absolutely critical and is a chance for the right person to make a huge impact and help the Zeina's achieve true independence. Get in touch if this looks like the role for you.
5) Show up to welcome the Al Badin’s at the airport: We don’t have an exact date as of yet, but they are arriving near the end of the month. Stay tuned for confirmation!
6) Drop in - make some connections! Nothing makes settling into a new country easier than making new friends, so feel free to drop on for a coffee with both the Zeina’s and the Al Badin’s. The Zeina’s English is really quite good now and the Al Badin’s are keen to practice their English as much as they can. Contact us to check on the best way to get in touch.
The Bay has already shown itself to be the little community with the big heart, so let's do it again and help our new family succeed as well as the Zeina's have.
Thank you all for everything you do.
The Bay Refugee Project team.
We are very happy to announce that word has come through the channels, that we will soon be welcoming an additional 2 Syrian families to St Margaret’s Bay. One family has one child of 5 years old. And the second family has twins at about the same age. We are SO looking forward to their arrival!
In preparation, we have rented two lovely units in the Tantallon area, (side by each as the families know each other), and we need to outfit them completely into welcoming homes. We would love your help. As the rental units are quite small and we would like to avoid receiving more than we need, we are asking everyone to fill out a donation form for needed items. This way we can also avoid duplicates as well.
One of our wonderful volunteers, Beverly, will follow up to confirm whether you can drop the item(s) off at the homes in Tantallon on a designated date (with the location and time which will be within the next 3 weeks) ), or if you would prefer that we arrange to pick your item(s) up. Just a reminder that ideally the items are either ‘gently used’ or new.
Thanks from all of us - to all of you - for your donations and support in welcoming our new Syrian families to their new home!
Please fill out the form in our in-kind registry if you have something you would like to donate.