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London community rallies for Syrian refugees


Mayor Matt Brown and a number of London community groups (The London Muslim Mosque, Islamic Centre of Southwest Ontario, Muslim Association of Canada London Chapter and the Metropolitan United Church) are working together to raise awareness and necessary funds to sponsor several families from Syria to settle in London through Lifeline Syria.

“It is so important that we provide assistance and help sponsor families affected by this crisis,” said Mayor Matt Brown. “Londoners are compassionate and caring, we should give what we can to help as many families as possible.  Over the next month I will work with Faith Leaders and community organizations to raise funds and awareness so that we can welcome Syrian refugees with open arms. The time for us to act is now.”  

There are a number of ways that Londoners can get involved and donate money to help sponsor a Syrian family: Donations can be made beginning Tuesday morning at all five Libro Financial branches in London, The London Muslim Mosque at 151 Oxford St. W., 519-439-9451 and the Islamic Centre of Southwest Ontario 519-668-2268.

Libro will also accept e-transfers as of Tuesday at Lifeline@libro.ca. Libro has also kick-started the fundraising with a $1,000 donation.

“Metropolitan United Church is eager to join with others to help in this time of crisis,” said Rev. Dr. Jeff Crittenden. “We need to focus on three aspects in particular: helping to bring stability to the area that people are fleeing from; helping those through the time of transition and finally, welcoming families into the London community.”

“Time is of the essence to help alleviate the Syrian refugee crisis,” said Imam Abd Alfatah Twakkal, London Muslim Mosque. “Our community here in London can do much in this regard and we are very happy to be part of a collaborative effort and response alongside other community groups and the Mayor of London to do what is our collective duty as Canadians to assist the refugees of Syria.”

"The London Muslim Community is heartened by the overwhelming goodwill shown to lessen the plight of the Syrian Refugees in Europe and the Middle East,” said Dr. Hassan Mostafa, President of the Islamic Centre of Southwestern Ontario. “We hope to harness all this support to facilitate the safe arrival of several families here in London.  We deeply appreciate Mayor Brown's leadership on this matter.”

As part of a coordinated effort by Canada’s Big City Mayors, Mayor Brown will be reaching out to Toronto Mayor Tory, Ottawa Mayor Watson, Vancouver Mayor Robertson (Chair of Canada’s Big City Mayors Caucus for FCM) and others during the weekend to discuss what London is doing and how we can coordinate our efforts across Canada to help those Syrian families in need.