Eritrea, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria. Homs, Mosel, Aleppo. We have all seen the tragic images of conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere. Three-year old Alan Kurdi’s lifeless form washing up on the Turkish shores last year galvanized the world in its desire to assist Syrian refugees as they flee their war-torn homeland. The Kurdi boys and their mother were among at least 12 migrants, including five children, who drowned when their two boats capsized off Turkey. Over 50% of the Syrian population has been driven from their homes, and families who have fled Syria to Lebanon and surrounding countries are either crowded into refugee camps, or are struggling to live on their savings in tiny, cramped apartments.

Many of us in this area would like to help. If you are one of those people, now is your chance!

“Opportunity Knox” is a newly established refugee committee in the Vankleek Hill area, backed by Knox Presbyterian Church. The group’s goals are two-fold. First and foremost, of course, is the chance to offer a new, peaceful and welcoming home to a family fleeing war and conflict in their homeland. Opportunity Knox has a second goal – to provide those interested in the project with the opportunity to make connections, meet new people, make new friends and build a sense of community. Working together to reach out to a family in need has the added bonus of bringing our community together.  We are hoping to work with private citizens, local businesses and organizations to fund raise, plan for and support a refugee family in Vankleek Hill.
Committee member Reg Harden emphasizes that everyone (individuals, church groups, other organizations) is welcome to join and help with Opportunity Knox.

If you would like to be involved in this project, or if you would like more information about it, please email  [email protected] or [email protected] or call 613-678-2078.

The group’s first fundraising event takes place at on November 27th, at 3 p.m. at at Knox Presbyterian Church in Vankleek Hill.  Please join the choirs of Acquire for a wonderful concert fittingly entitled “Darkness into Light”.  It will be a beautiful evening of choral music celebrating the Christmas season.  All proceeds will go towards Opportunity Knox, with all funds slated to support our first refugee family.

(With information from MACLEAN’s magazine.)