Over the past months, AIRSS has been blessed with successful fundraising, prayers of many people, many donations from our community, family, friends and amazing support from the Shona Congo community, as well as recent generosity beyond our imagination. Today I have some unbelievable news to share!
I am thrilled to announce that we have reached our initial fundraising goal of $58,500. Thanks be to God! When we started this journey, this goal seemed so far away and so difficult to achieve but today we celebrate this amazing milestone with all of you!
How is this possible? A Shona Congo supporter, who wishes to remain anonymous, has miraculously donated over $30,000 to ensure that we would reach our goal. The donor has told us that this is a gift from God. We are deeply grateful for the generosity of this donor.
We are overwhelmed and we are deeply grateful to all of our donors, supporters, and fundraisers. On behalf of AIRSS and our families, we thank everyone who made all of this possible. This is truly a day to rejoice!
In the beginning of this journey, we set our original goal of $58,500 based on the Government of Canada's recommendations for private sponsorship groups. With this amount raised, we have reached the minimum required to provide for the living expenses of our two families until they are self-supporting. These funds will provide the necessities for them as they focus on the important tasks of learning English and adjusting to life in Canada!
From here we will continue to fund raise beyond this minimum. We recognize that set-up and living expenses for 3 adults with disabilities and 6 children will exceed the basic amount of $58,500. We will continue our fundraising with the benefit of knowing that, thanks to so much generosity, we are well prepared to welcome our families whenever they arrive.
We wish we could also announce that our families will be arriving soon. However, their applications are still being processed so we are still asking for people to help us advocate for quicker processing of the application by contacting our Canadian government officials.
If you haven't already done so, could you please send an email message to our government officials and/or share this opportunity with others? Please see information below for more details about this action item. Also, please note that there is different information for our Canadian supporters and our American supporters. Thank you!
Also, please remember that until the applications are approved, these families must remain as refugees in a neighboring African country where resources are extremely limited and conditions are difficult. Argentine and Mapendo are paying for rent, health care and food for their families entirely through their sewing with SHONA Congo. You can help them by buying a beautiful, handcrafted, high quality bag that they have made at www.shonacongo.com. Each bag that you buy provides enough money for one family to eat for 2 days! Thank you for considering this opportunity to support their work so they can support their families.
With a very grateful heart and deepest appreciation,
Cheryl Balay, President of AIRSS