Kim and Greg Deighton and Bushra Sameer of Port Union Cares were happy to accept a cheque from the students at Centennial Road Public School who organized a toonie drive to raise money on World Refugee Day on June 20.

By Beyhan Farhadi

Thursday,  August 10 marked the beginning of our sponsored family’s new life in Canada. A few members of Port Union Cares arrived at the airport early in the morning that day to greet Senait and her primary-aged son, Adjam (their names have been changed to ensure their privacy), who were exhausted but in such good spirits! After their arrival, we drove back to their temporary home here in Centennial where they had lunch, received a tour of the space, and comfortably settled into their beds for a nap. The comfort that met them would not have been possible without the hard work of Port Union Cares members, who outfitted the space with ethnically specific food, comfortable bedding, toys and furniture for the family.

We want to highlight two members in particular who generously volunteered to share their space with this family. Kim and Greg Deighton are two of the 14 founding members of Port Union Cares. Since the family’s arrival, they have not only provided temporary shelter, but they have also shared their time and energy helping the family transition into a new community and culture. If you were to pay them a surprise visit, you’d likely see Adjam playing with Greg in the front yard, or Senait with Kim, sharing recipes and exchanging stories. They have provided more than  temporary shelter; they’ve provided a welcoming and safe home. We are grateful for their extraordinary commitment.

We also want to thank the members of our community, who have come through not only with financial donations but also with clothing, toys, furniture and household appliances. We’re still seeking out items, so if you’d like more frequent communication about their needs, please email Port Union Cares at and we will add you to our mailing list.

The next few weeks will be critical to ensure the family’s smooth transition into new routines. We’ll be hitting the ground in search of accessible permanent housing, attending settlement meetings and various appointments, learning the ropes of transit, and getting both Senait and Adjam settled into their respective schools.

Port Union Cares is continuing to raise money to support this family for the year; this includes a loan they’ve incurred by the federal government for their travels and medical expenses, which is over $5,000. Any unused funds will go toward the sponsorship of refugees in 2018. Please consider extending financial support by donating through Canada Helps. Canadian contributions are eligible for a tax receipt, which you receive within minutes of processing your donation.

Thank you, friends, for your continued support.