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Vernon  

Church to sponsor refugees

A Vernon church is on a rescue mission.

Trinity United Church wants to bring a refugee family out of the horrors of war to the safety of the Okanagan.

The congregation recently decided to sponsor a family after networking with existing social agencies and local residents.

“We have been moved by the magnitude of the crisis that has engulfed individuals, families and entire nations,” said Marilyn Erdmann, with Trinity United.

“Members of the congregation are mobilized to do their part, but we can’t do it alone.”

The church is asking local residents to get behind the cause and change the lives of a destitute family.

Once a family has been sponsored, Trinity’s formal commitment is for one year and funds will be required to support their every need, including housing and groceries.

“We will also provide clothing and furniture, everything you need to set up a home,” said Norma John, with Trinity.

Volunteers will also be sought for transportation, translation, English as a second language and medical services.

“Trinity has a long history of sponsoring refugees, including from Vietnam and Kosovo, and we are confident we can help provide stability and new opportunities for a family while adding to the diversity of Vernon,” said John.

“Greater Vernon residents are known for their compassion and openness and we appreciate any support provided,” added Erdmann.

It is not known when a refugee family may arrive in Vernon, but Trinity is working with the United Church of Canada and federal agencies during the process.

Monetary donations for refugee sponsorship can currently be made to Trinity’s refugee fund and will be eligible for a charitable tax receipt, which will be issued early in 2016.

Anyone interested in helping welcome refugees to Vernon can call Trinity United Church at 250-545-0797.

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