The Newcomer Support Team (NeST) recently submitted a settlement plan to the Diocesan Refugee Committee and we are awaiting their approval of our plan.The initial list of 200 refugee families have all been placed, so we are waiting for a new list of newcomers.This will give us more time to prepare  a warm welcoming place for the newcomers to live. (Please NOTE  a correction to to a recent bulletin notice. If you have any household goods that you would like to donate, contact Catherine Eldridge (403-289-3227 or [email protected]), who is one of the Team Leads coordinating a master list of goods. DO NOT bring any household goods to St. Stephen’s as there is no room to store things.

On February 21st, we had an interesting volunteer orientation meeting at St. Paul’s  with two speakers who shared some very valuable information. Dr. Deborah Alexander talked about her experience sponsoring an Afghani family in 2003. George Odeh, who has offered to help with Arabic translation and cultural questions, talked about his personal experience immigrating to Canada. We are most grateful for their time and talents.

We are now accepting financial donations by cheque or through the envelope system. It is important to indicate on the memo line of the cheque that the funds are for “Refugee Sponsorship”. If you indicated on the survey that you would like to volunteer in some way with NeST, you may receive a phone call or email from one of the TEAM LEADS. Another important point is that if you wish to have direct contact with the newcomers, you will need to obtain a Police Security Check (including the Vulnerable Sector). This costs $15 and you will need a letter from the St. Stephen’s office with your name on it. You may be reimbursed if you like. Please contact Barb Driftmier (403-288-6709 or[email protected]) for details or if you have questions.

Finally SAVE THE DATE for a NeST fundraiser on Saturday April 9th at St. Paul’s – more details to follow.


If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to contact Carol Rose-Skelly (403-451-8155 or [email protected]), Co-Chair of NeST.

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