The Canadian Unitarian Council (CUC) is a Refugee Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH) with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). This Agreement allows our congregations to privately sponsor refugees.
Sponsoring congregations, such as the First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto, are responsible for the “financial and moral” well-being of our sponsored families during their first year of residence in Canada.
Toronto First has a long history of refugee sponsorship, including families from Laos, El Salvador and Ethiopia.
Most recently, in 2015-2016, the congregation partnered with the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC) to sponsor five families from Syria. For each family of four, the congregation raised approximately $40,000 to support them for the 12-month sponsorship period. Perhaps as important as the financial support were the meaningful connections and experiences everyone shared, and of course the friendships which developed.
Several additional applications have been submitted since that time and more refugee arrivals are expected when these applications have been processed.
You can donate to this initiative at this website’s Donate Page. If you use an Interac E-Transfer, please type “Refugee Sponsorship” in the message box and be sure to include your name and address so we can send you a tax receipt.
You can also donate through CanadaHelps, where in the pull-down menu “Apply your donation to a fund set up by this charity” category, you should choose #6 “Refugee Sponsorship Initiative”.
We are currently working with three families from Syria. We are not actively open to new settlements at this time.
For more information, or to volunteer, contact us by email.