Scrabble fundraiser to support refugees to be held in Kelowna

The fundraiser will support the Central Okanagan Refugee Committee’s upcoming sponsorships

The Central Okanagan Refugee Committee is once again hosting their popular Scrabble Fundraiser, in support of their upcoming sponsorships.

The tournament, held on March 8 at the United Church at 721 Bernard Avenue, will raise funds to support two sponsorships for members of LGBTQ+ community, two family reunifications, and a family escaping persecution in Yemen.

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Canada Reads contender, Sharon Bala, author of The Boat People, is the guest speaker for the event and will providing a reading and reflection from her novel about the 2009 Sun Sea Tamil refugees that arrived on Vancouver shores.

Mohammad Al Shahoud and his wife, Sara, arrived to Kelowna in 2015, having left Syria in 2011. The couple spoke little English, since has faithfully attended language lessons and now intends to play Scrabble that evening.

“People helped me without even knowing me, my wife and I were inspired to help others,” said Al Shahoud on his three years in Canada.

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Refugees routinely turn around and extend help to others. Anas Qartoumeh, also sponsored through CORC, is currently the Scrabble tournament’s highest pledge collector. An LGBTQ+ man in Syria, Qartoumeh lived his entire life ashamed of his identity.

“I came to Canada and realized that I was worthy. The life I lived before was not me. Now I am free to just be me,” said Qartoumeh.

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“Joining CORC in the sponsorship of a Yemeni family is an honour that is hard to put into words. In light of the tremendous hardship of the Yemeni people, who are the victims of the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, its is a small way to alleviate some suffering and therefore demonstrate yet again that Canadians care and want to share the undeserved blessings we continue to enjoy,” said Gioia Morris, who works in partnership with CORC.

Registration is open to play Scrabble, they will also be accepting donations at www.canadahelps.org or e-mail jodine.ducs@gmail.com for more information.

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