Fundraiser in Huntsville for Syrian refugees aims to help those in need

Fundraiser in Huntsville for Syrian refugees aims to help those in needimage

16 Nov 2015

Sparkling fashions and fresh baked goods are lining the tables in Sutherland Hall in Huntsville on Saturday.

A graduate class of the Muskoka Mindfulness Community, which meets Wednesday evenings at Fairvern Nursing Home, has come together to create a fundraiser for Syrian refugees, in the face of the international humanitarian crisis, on Nov. 14.

Sandra Rae, a member of Muskoka Mindfulness Community, said charitable giving is not a new idea for the group. She offered her culinary talents to provide the fundraising baked goods for the event.

She said each week class members contribute to a donation box.

“Whatever they can afford,” said Rae. “And that money, twice a year, we divide it up.”

She said donations are given to an international charity in the summer, and the local Salvation Army in the winter.

“And we adopt a family (through) the local Salvation Army,” she said.

She noted, though, that when there have been international humanitarian crises, such as the 2010 Haitian earthquake, members have collected funds to support those causes as well.

The Syrian refugee crisis, she said, was no exception.

“We decided to do an event to not necessarily bring a refugee family to Huntsville, but to sponsor one family,” she said.

She said the members’ efforts were in collaboration with the Syrian Refugee Sponsorship Committee in Huntsville, a group of church, service club and community members working toward a Syrian refugee family sponsorship.

“It’s about taking your practice into the community,” she said.

Karen Litchfield, the Stella and Dot stylist responsible for lining tables in the hall with scarves and trendy jewelry, among other items, said she would be donating the proceeds of her sales on Saturday to Syrian refugee aid.

“I have been privileged in my life and it upsets me to think refugees are being forced to leave their own homes with nothing more than a backpack on their shoulders,” said Litchfield, who is also a member of the Muskoka Mindfulness Community.

She noted that helping people is something she feels strongly about.

The event continues at Sutherland Hall, 30 High St., Huntsville, until 1 p.m. on Nov. 14. Admission is free.