Church raising funds to sponsor refugee family

The Holy Family Perish is hosting a pledge weekend in support of their efforts to sponsor a Syrian refugee family.

As the plight of the Syrian refugees continues to dominate headlines, Elk Valley residents are looking for ways they can help.

The Holy Family Parish has embarked on a goal to sponsor a refugee family from Syria to come and live in the area.

Father Marcel Cote is one of the driving forces behind the campaign, and says it’s in alignment with their values.

“In the Church, we are celebrating a year of mercy and this is one of our expressions of that value,” he said.

The church began the process to become a sponsoring body, enabling them to raise funds to bring a refugee family to the Elk Valley.

The group of volunteers has organized a pledge drive for this upcoming weekend. There will be a booth set up at the Catholic Church Garage Sale on Mar. 5 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Donations can be made there, and all donations can be used as a tax credit. Donations can also be made online at

“We have the sponsor, that happens to be the Roman Catholic Diocese of Nelson and the Holy Family Parish. Through them we’ve got a variety of people to take on the tasks, such as housing and language training if necessary and employment opportunities and schooling for the children,” said Father Marcel. “There is a lot of volunteer help required, so all the way from the coordinator right down to people to assist with trauma and counseling.”

People looking for more information on how to donate or get involved are encouraged to contact Sharon Switzer or Glen Carter at 423-4888. More information is also available on their Facebook page: Fernie Syrian Refugee Family – Building a Bridge.