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Second meeting planned for locals interested in refugee sponsorship

A second meeting for residents interested in helping to bring Syrian refugee families to Grande Prairie is being held next week. Local Rotarian Kevin Hilgers says about 40 people attended the first meeting in late September and that interest from the community has grown since then.

Hilgers says there are a couple of churches in town along with a number of individuals who have become very involved in helping move the process forward.

“It seems like there’s probably room for about a half a dozen either individuals or families that we could bring to Grande Prairie, and that’s what we want to talk about on Tuesday night. How we go about that, the cost, commitments, and the process.”

He adds that for the most part, those six or so refugee families already have relatives in the community, which will help reduce the cost of sponsorship.

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“That’s sort of the route that we’re leaning into. You do have to commit for a year. It’s like adopting a family and you do have to commit and have money in the bank ready to roll, but there’s various ways of doing it and there’s easier ways of doing it and that’s what we’ll talk about Tuesday night.”

Hilgers says another goal for the meeting is to connect individuals who might not have the money or resources to sponsor a refugee family on their own, but could do so when their resources are pooled together with a larger group.

The meeting is being held Tuesday, December 8, at 7 pm in the Rotary Room at the library.

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