UXBRIDGE: Councillor Jack Ballinger made a motion at a recent council meeting, to take $2,500 out of the golf fund and give $500 to each of the five Syrian families in Uxbridge as a Christmas present.
The golf fund holds the money raised from the annual Uxbridge Mayor’s Charity Golf Tournament at Wooden Sticks, so the dollars used on these families won’t affect taxpayers.
This year approximately $15,000 was raised to help various individuals, organizations, and charities in need of support.
When Jack was thinking of those who could use help this holiday season, he said the Syrian’s families came to mind.
“I thought it would be a wonderful thing if we could give a Christmas present to each of the families, to help them along their way,” he said. “It’s the time of giving, so I just thought I’d bring it up to council and refer it to the golf fund.”
When the Syrian families came to Uxbridge last September, Jack said his daughter came to him and wanted to get involved. Jack and his wife were sharing his daughter’s three-bedroom apartment when she told her Dad that they could move out and use the extra rooms to help sponsor a Syrian family.
“I remember looking at my daughter and saying why did you do this and she said Dad, it’s the right thing to do,” Jack shared.
He has been living with a Syrian family since their arrival late last year.
“They are just wonderful people and they are working hard so they can stay in Uxbridge,” Jack said.
He continued, “If you give them anything they always return it. They are always sending food upstairs to us, with these special dishes that they make.”
The father of the Syrian family previously worked as a surgical nurse in Syria, and is now employed as a truck driver, working hard to make ends meet. The mother is employed as well, working as a seamstress.
Jack describes the family’s response to Uxbridge as very “positive,” adding that others should witness it for themselves.
“They really appreciate what the community has done,” he said. “You can’t get one up on them because they’ll do anything for you.”
The families are all working on learning English and hope to find a permanent home in Uxbridge.
“They want to move forward, and if they keep working the way they have been, they will be great Canadians.” added Jack.
He would like to wish all the families a Merry Christmas and hopes all works out for them in the future.
Jack said, “I’m just so happy that this family has a chance.”