Including residents of Perth, the Townships of Tay Valley, Lanark Highlands & Drummond North Elmsley and others who come on board


    1. Former leaders of the CARR  awarded the Sovereign's Medal for Volunteers

      Sovereign's Medalists Ann and Gord Munroe
        Ann Munroe, former Chair of the CARR, and Gord Munroe, former Vice-Chair, were awarded the Rideau Hall Foundation's distinguished Sovereign's Medal for Volunteers on March 7, 2020. The awards presentations were held at St. James Anglican Church, 12 Harvey Street in Perth.

        While these medals are normally presented formally at Rideau Hall in Ottawa, both Ann and Gord elected to have the presentations performed locally in front of family, friends and fellow volunteers. It was fitting then that the ceremony was held in the worship area of St. James because St. James was such a vital partner in the success of The CARR. But the awards for both Ann and Gord go well beyond their vital roles with The CARR. They reflect the contributions that both have made as volunteers to so many organizations to make this community a better place. Collectively, they have volunteered and taken leadership positions in such other organizations as The Perth and District Community Foundation, the Lanark Renfrew Health and Community Services, The Table Community Food Centre and the 2003 Lanark County Plowing Match, among many others.

    2. Parking the CARR

        After more than 4 years in operation, successfully welcoming and supporting more than 25 people within our community, the CARR is now shutting down its operations in two phases. The first phase is a shutdown of the structured hands-on operational phase, allowing people to step back from their operational roles - including the Executive Committee. This phase is now complete.

        The second phase includes the creation of The CARR Trust Fund to continue to support the compelling financial needs of any of the beneficiaries, should any such situations arise prior to the dissolution of the fund. Three trustees were appointed from the Executive to administer this fund. During this period, some of the volunteers from the family support teams will continue to provide support to the families when needed, on a more informal friend to friend basis. Prior to dissolution of The CARR Trust Fund, scheduled for late 2020, the trustees will transfer the remaining funds to the Perth and District Community Foundation's Ageless Migration Fund, a fund designed to provide additional support for refugees and immigrants who come to live in the community This fund has been set up with an initial donation from the CARR, as a legacy fund to honour the CARR's volunteers and donors. See also: Parking the CARR document.

        A huge "THANK YOU" to everyone who has come on board The CARR!

    3. PDCF Announces the Ageless Migration Fund

        In its Press Release, the Perth & District Community Foundation announces the establishment of its new Ageless Migration Fund in cooperation with CARR, aimed at supporting refugees and immigrants within this community. This new fund is dedicated to the volunteers, donors and local community involved with the CARR. To recognize these efforts, fibre artist Robynne Cole has gifted her award-winning artwork fittingly entitled "Ageless Migration" to the Perth and District Community Foundation and through them to the Community Alliance for Refugee Resettlement
        Read the PDCF Press Release.

    4. Celebrating the CARR

        On September 14, 2019 a family style potluck gathering of all those associated with CARR was held in order to celebrate our journey and our final destination. The celebration provided an opportunity to discuss the Parking of the CARR with the people most involved. Lots of laughter, good food and inspirational speaches, particularly from new family members...............enjoyed by all.
        Read the ensuing CARR Press Release.

        The CARR Family Celebration
        Photo courtesy of Craig Greenwood

    5. Wonderful News

        Thankfully, the waiting is now over. The two families we have been waiting so long to welcome have now arrived. A family of 7 arrived in early May 2018 and another family of 3 arrived in early July. The first of these two families was housed temporarily in premises owned by St. John's Roman Catholic Church for two months at no cost, until a house could be made available to them. Many thanks to the Church for their generosity. This family is now happily relocated in their new accommodations. The adults are learning English and are being mentored in everything they will need to become successful Canadian citizens, while the kids have been to school and are now enjoying summer activities. The second family is just getting established and starting their journey to Canadian citizenship. Family support teams have been formed for both of these families and they are hard at work to make the journeys of these two families as pleasant and productive as possible. The CARR is once again in high gear.

    6. The Waiting Continues

        Both families we have applied for on a private sponsorship basis have had interviews in their host countries in the Middle East. As we enter 2018, we are hopeful that these interviews will translate into official news of their arrival plans, which will allow them to start their new lives in this country. In the meantime, we are doing whatever we can to plan for their arrival. And the waiting continues......

    7. We Keep On Waiting

        The CARR had applied to sponsor privately two more Syrian refugee families in 2016 and approval for both has subsequently been provided by Immigration officers in Canada. The problem is that we do not know when they will be arriving. They have to go through a final screening in the countries in which they are now residing before being allowed to enter this country and there is a huge backlog in this final vetting process. While the estimated processing times were about 8 months at the time we made the applications, which would have meant they would now be here, the current processing time is running up to 19 months, which would indicate their arrival in early 2018. We have intervened to the extent possible to encourage the final processing of these applications. We have the finances pretty much in place for these families and as much of the preliminary arrangements as possible without knowing their arrival dates. And now we wait......

    8. More Milestones in the CARR's Journey

        September 2017 marked the first anniversary of the arrival of the second family to be supported by the CARR in Perth. Both families are now financially self-supporting and happy with their lives in our community. Both families have welcomed new little ones to their families and all are doing well. The family support teams continue to offer language support and social support to the families as needed, but it is clear that both families are becoming more and more independent. While the support roles will come to an end one day, the friendships forged by these experiences will last forever.

    9. The CARR's second presentation at Algonquin College

        The CARR made another presentation to the 2nd year Community Development Class at Algonquin College on September 22, 2017. Five members of the CARR Team spoke about the CARR's journey over the past two years and the successes we have had. The highlight once again though was the presentation by Ahmad Almdhe about his life before and after coming to Canada. He spoke eloquently from the heart in English, which he has learned since arriving in Perth 1 1/2 years ago. Once again it was an emotional experience for the students and the presenters.

    10. Presentation to Amnesty International

        Four members of the CARR Team went to Almonte on May 17, 2017 to make a presentation to Amnesty International. The theme was about sharing experiences in small town Canada in resettling former refugee families. Amnesty International was represented by Alex Neve, Secretary General of Amnesty Canada and representatives from 8 different countries. There were presentations from similar groups in Almonte and Arnprior and all received a standing ovation from the Amnesty contingent after the presentations were completed. It is so interesting to know that other countries feel that it is worthwhile to learn from Canadian experience.

    11. Lake 88 In Focus Interview with The CARR and our First Family

        Listen to this heart-warming interview interview with Elsie, Jordan, Kafaa and Ahmad
        Click here

    12. First Syrian family thanks Perth community for warm welcome

        Ahmad and Kafaa, with the assistance of some members of the CARR Team, have done an interview with the Perth Courier / Inside Ottawa Valley News, on their first 9 months of living in Perth.
        Here’s the online story.

    13. The CARR presentation at Algonquin College

        The CARR made a presentation to the 2nd year Community Development Class at Algonquin College on November 17th. Four members of the CARR Team spoke about the CARR's journey over the past year, but the highlight was the presentation by Ahmad Almdhe about his life before and after coming to Canada. He spoke eloquently in English, which he has learned since arriving in Perth some 9 months ago, about how happy and safe they feel in Canada and how thankful they are for the welcome they have received. It was an emotional moment for all participants and some of the students wrote some very positive remarks about how they had been impacted by the presentation.
        Read "Reflections from the 2nd Year Social Service Worker Community Development Class's Presentation from The CARR".

    14. The CARR Wecomes Another Family to Perth

        A second successful sponsorship becomes reality as we welcomed another Newcomer Family to Perth. They arrived at the Ottawa Airport on September 8th, "amidst tears and great excitement", according to the Family Support Team members who were on hand to greet them. The family was fatigued after about 18 hours in transit, but happy to have arrived at their destination. They were immediately put at ease by the welcoming presence of the Team, which included Ahmad Almdhe who had made the same journey to Perth some 7 months ago. He was able to share his own experience, answer questions and reassure them about what to expect in Canada on the ride home. According to Team members, it was wonderful to turn over the keys and watch them open the door to their beautiful new home, which had been lovingly refinished and furnished by CARR volunteers. This family's voyage to become fully integrated Canadian citizens has well and truly begun. A huge "Thank You" to our generous donors and volunteers who have made this a reality.

    15. Newest Settler to Area Shines at Tay Valley Settlers Heritage Day and Lanark County Plowing Match

        In August, Ahmad Almdhe was invited to be a VIP at the Ontario plowman's association ploughing match in Tay valley. He joined Jennifer Dickson and other local politicians and dignitaries as they competed to see who could plow the straightest row. And while we congratulate Jennifer on her second place finish, the big winner was Ahmad! He happily accepted his medal at home and had his picture in the news as the winner. Tay Valley Township put together a lovely press release, which was translated by Sabah Towaij.
        "Bilingual" Press Release
        Official Press release

    16. Donor Stories

        We have received so many heartwarming and encouraging messages from our donors. Here is a message from some young people who really care.
        The Lemonade Stand

    17. Welcoming Syrians Workshop

        Our Cross Cultural and Skills Adaptation Team is hosting a Welcoming Syrians workshop on June 11 in collaboration with the Immigration Partnership Renfrew Lanark.
        Workshop Poster

    18. The CARR Drives Refugees To Their New Home

    19. Refugee committee celebrates snowy arrival of first Syrian family to Perth

    20. In Focus Interview on Lake 88

        The CARR's Communications Coordinator Jennifer Dickson and Family Support Team Co-Leader Doug Burt were interviewed on Lake 88's "In Focus" on Thursday, March 3rd. Jennifer noted that the response to the Refugee crisis may be the defining moment for our generation and quoted Robert Kennedy ~ “Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all these acts will be written the history of this generation.” Listen as they provide an update on the CARR’s efforts to welcome up to three Syrian Refugee families to Perth. Click here for the interview.
    21. Perth Welcomes First Syrian Family

    22. Exciting News About Our First Family

        The Community Alliance for Refugee Resettlement (CARR) is thrilled to announce that after 5 months of preparation and hard work on the part of over 100 volunteers we have been matched with a Syrian family who will be arriving in Toronto this Sunday February 14th. This young family with 3 small children will be staying in Toronto for intake processing and then will be welcomed to Perth by their host family early next week.

        Their new home has been lovingly prepared by CARR volunteers and furnished through the generous donations both cash and in kind of our many donors including local business McMullan Appliance and Mattress.

        It is quite fitting that our new neighbours will arrive on Valentine's Day as this has certainly been a labour of love for so many members of our own community and beyond. A heartfelt "Thanks" goes out to everyone for your support.
    23. Great Local Support

        Once again we are thrilled with the support of our local community and supporters from afar! Today McMullan Appliance & Mattress in Perth made a very generous donation to The CARR of a Queen Size Bed! Our new neighbors will be so thrilled as they settle into their new home and find a cozy new bed to sleep on after all they have experienced on their long journey to safety! Thank you Kyle and Brian your service has been amazing! 
        McMullan Appliance & Mattress
    24. The CARR Turns the Corner

        Thanks to our generous donors and incredible volunteers, The CARR has turned the corner. We are now celebrating the fact that our donations have reached the $120,000 level, including commitments. There have also been substantial donations of furniture, equipment, clothing and other items that the new families will require. In addition more than 120 people have stepped forward to volunteer their time and talents. A huge THANK YOU to our donors and volunteers. We are now where we had hoped we would be and we are definitely ready to welcome three Refugee families to our community over the coming months. When they arrive, they will no longer be refugees, as they will become Permanent Residents of Canada and members of our community. We are now shifting gears to concentrate on welcoming our newest citizens to our community as soon as they arrive.

        To celebrate this milestone, the CARR is now sporting a new graphic on its door panel, as can be seen above. This graphic and a more caring logo to be used for communications purposes has been created by our volunteer Fund Raising Team. The complete new logo is shown below.

    25. Welcome Fund for Syrian Refugees

        First came the news that ManuLife and The Community Foundation of Canada were partnering to establish a $1 million Welcome Fund for Syrian Refugees. The Welcome Fund was set up to address immediate needs for transitional housing, job training and skills development as identified by the Government.~ read more.
        Then came the news that CN was coming on board as well with a $5 million contribution with the result that the Welcome Fund will now be contributing $6 million towards settlement efforts across the country ~ read more.
        Details are expected shortly about how the Welcome Fund may assist grass roots organizations such as The CARR.
    26. United for Refugees

        Three United Ways serving the communities of Lanark County, Prescott-Russell, and Renfrew County have joined the United for Refugees campaign to support refugees of the Syrian crisis. Funds raised will be used to support the sponsorship and settlement of refugees in these counties. The CARR has been informed that we will receive a portion of the donations to the United Way coming from donors with postal codes in our area. Of course you may donate directly to The CARR, by going to our Donate page.
        Read the full press release
    27. In Focus Interview on Lake 88

        The CARR's Communications Coordinators Krista Hearty McLean and Jennifer Dickson were interviewed on Lake 88's "In Focus" on Tuesday, December 8th. Listen as they provide an update on the CARR’s efforts to welcome up to three Syrian Refugee families to Perth. Click here for the interview.
    28. CARR - Yoga Fund Raiser

        Meditation for Peace in Busy Times {SEVA Offering}
        Join Sandra in an important community fundraiser to help meet the goal of bringing 3 refugee families to find refuge in the beautiful Perth area on Sunday, December 13th, 11am to 12pm.
        See Poster
        and register to read more
    29. The Bells are ringing for The CARR

        A meeting of The CARR volunteers was held at St. Paul's on December 4th to provide a broad overview of what each of the Teams has been doing. Each Team leader was given 5 minutes to provide an update of what they have been able to achieve so far. Some of the leaders had to talk very quickly to fit it all in because so much has been happening in such a short time. It was a great opportunity for the Teams to find out about what the others are doing. There was lots of sharing of ideas and a tremendous amount of enthusiasm for this project to provide support for the resettlement of refugees in our community. The news that we have almost reached the half way point in our goal to raise $100,000, counting both actual donations received and commitments over the next few months, was accompanied by the ringing of bells. The CARR is now officially in high gear.

        The CARR Team ~ Exec and Leaders

        (L-R)Connie Lendrum & Jane Hackett (Health), Liane Mainprize (Education), Deborah Duffy (PDCF), Connie Strang (Cross Cultural),Pam Newton, Deb Gallow (Documentation), Colin Stephenson (Exec, Finance), Ann Munroe (Exec, Co-Chair), John Shideler (Exec, Co-Chair), Margo Bell (behind John - Exec, Fund-Raising), Jennifer Dickson ((Exec, Communications), Gordon Munroe (Exec, Vice-Chair, Settlement Coordinator), Elsie Stresman (Exec, Secretary, Volunteer Coordinator), Doug Burt (Welcome), Jonh Brearley (Housing)
        Missing: Krista Hearty McLean (Exec, Communications), Helga Zimmerly (Language) and about 100 volunteers
    30. First Syrians may land here by February

    31. Matching Donations a Success

        Great news! Thanks to the heartwarming generosity of a number of new donors, we have been able to meet in full the matching grant challenge offered by of another of our generous donors (see story below). This means that we are now more than one third of the way to meeting our overall financial target, counting both donations actually received to date and commitments to donate over the coming months. As a result, the goal of sponsoring several refugee families is closer than ever to becoming a reality. If you have not yet had a chance to donate, please consider doing so today, by going to our Donate page. You may want to follow the lead of some of our other donors, by committing to monthly donations for any period you choose to make it easier on the budget.
    32. The CARR is recipient of Foodsmiths BYOB Program

        Claire Smith of Foodsmiths ( has informed us that The CARR is this month's recipient of their Bring Your Own Bag Charity Donation Program (BYOB). This generous program is designed to provide a source of Funds to local charities and to encourage the re-use of grocery bags. Foodsmiths donates 10¢ to The CARR for every cloth or recycled bag used during the month of November instead of a new plastic bag. Not only is this a generous source of funds for us, but it also provides us with additional exposure. For the month of November, "The CARR - Community Alliance for Refugee Resettlement" name appears at the bottom of each customer's cash register receipt. Thank you Claire and the entire Foodsmiths Team.
    33. Matching Donations During the month of November

        The Perth & District Community Foundation has informed us that they have found a generous donor who is willing to match donations to the CARR Refugee Fund on the basis of $1 for every $2 donated to a total of $5,000 until the end of November. In other words, $10,000 in total donations by others could become $15,000. This means that your donations will become even more valuable this month, so please consider going to our Donate page and making your donations to keep The CARR in high gear.
    34. In Focus Interview on Lake 88

        The CARR's Ann Munroe and Krista Hearty McLean were interviewed on Lake 88's "In Focus" on Tuesday, November 10th at noon. Listen as they discuss how you can help sponsor, support, and welcome Refugee Families to our community. Click here for the interview.

    35. The CARR Receives a Major Funding Commitment

    36. First Press Release Issued by The CARR

      • The CARR Communications Team has issued its first Press Release to ramp up communications on the Project and to the encourage donations to get The Carr rolling. Read the full Press Release.

    37. The CARR is set in motion

      • At the third meeting on October 16th, the team chose the name Community Alliance for Refugee Resettlement and The CARR was set in motion. A key decision was made to go with an existing nearby Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH), as this route appears to be the most expeditious way to bring in refugees. A team was asked to investigate several nearby SAH's and recommend the best fit. It was decided that a top priority was to start the fund-raising drive as soon as possible and the Communications Team team was asked to draft a press release. Subsequent to the meeting, the url was acquired and this website was designed for the project.

    38. Second meeting to plot the route

      • On October 8th, a second meeting was held involving those who had put their names forward for leadership positions. The main objective was to firm up the leadership team and to begin to map out the route to be taken. Ann Munroe and John Shideler agreed to co-chair the project. Read the resulting EMC media coverage.

    39. PDCF gets the wheels turning

      • On September 25th 2015, The Perth and District Community Foundation organized a meeting of over 40 individuals from local churches, schools, service clubs, local government and interested citizens to determine the level of local interest in the sponsorship of refugees in this community. The interest was strong and many present put their names forward for possible leadership and support positions. To kick start the project, the PDCF agreed to create a fund, so that members of the community can donate to the project through the Foundation and receive tax receipts. Read the resulting Press Release.

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