How can I donate to TEEWP?
There are two ways to donate to TEEWP, both through our partners at Eastminster United Church at 310 Danforth Avenue. You can make a contribution online through Canada Helps. Be sure to direct your donation to TEEWP as Eastminster United Church is working with several different refugee sponsorship groups from the neighbourhood.
If you prefer to send a good old-fashioned cheque, you can drop it in the mail slot outside Eastminster’s main office, which is open until about 9 p.m. on weekdays and 3 p.m. on weekends. If you decide to go the dropbox route, please make your cheque out to Eastminster United Church – TEEWP and be sure to e-mail our voluntary bookkeeper Martha McGroarty-Yepes at firstname.lastname@example.org with the amount of your cheque for our records.
Will I receive a tax receipt?
Yes! Our partner, Eastminster Church, has charitable status and can therefore issue receipts for your donation. You’ll receive the receipt by e-mail once your online donation is processed. If you drop off a cheque, please include your full name and address so a receipt can be sent to you by mail.
I thought TEEWP was non-denominational. Why have you partnered with a church?
In order to privately sponsor refugees, newly formed groups like ours need to link up with what’s known as a Sponsorship Agreement Holder. (There is another, more complicated route for private sponsors, but TEEWP decided against it.) Sponsorship Agreement Holders, or SAHs, are long-established organizations that Ottawa has pre-approved to privately sponsor refugees. The United Church of Canada, of which Eastminster United Church is a member, has agreed to be our SAH. (We were originally working with the Anglican United Refugee Alliance (AURA), but our file was passed to the UCC earlier this year.) The UCC is, in a sense, acting as a middleman between TEEWP and Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the government department spearheading this country’s efforts to welcome Syrian refugees.
How many people are you planning to sponsor?
TEEWP welcomed Abyot, a 41-year-old Ethiopian, in June of 2017. We welcomed Marie Leonie, a woman from Congo, in July of 2017. We have been matched with a pair of Syrian brothers who are expected to be here within a year.
TEEWP has also been helping a family of seven government-assisted refugees from Syria settle into their new life in Toronto. You can read more about our work with the Al Cheblis family on our blog.
What will my donation help pay for?
TEEWP is sponsoring Abyot and Marie Leonie through the Blended Visa Office-Referred program, which means Ottawa will help with roughly half of their living expenses during their first year in Canada. We are responsible for his start-up costs — everything from first and last month’s rent to furniture to household appliances — and for six months of his living expenses. The federal government will pay for the other six months. After that, refugees are expected to pay their own way. We’re waiting for more details on our other cases. Every cent you donate will go directly to refugees. TEEWP is made up entirely of volunteers and we have no overhead.