Join us for our Annual General Meeting on May 16, 2018 from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. at the Whitehorse Public Library.
We are very pleased to host Fiona Azizaj as our speaker at our AGM this year. Fiona is a former refugee from Kosovo and will speak about her family’s experience escaping the Kosovo war in the ’90s and starting a new life in the Yukon in 2003.
We will also:
Present a detailed financial statement, in accordance with our commitment to transparency for our supporters;
Provide an update on the work we have done during the past year;
Explain our plans for the year ahead;
Elect the Board of Directors (New members are welcome to join the board);
Recruit volunteers to continue the work of the different working committees at Yukon Cares; and
Get together and celebrate another year!
All are welcome to attend as we discuss accomplishments and initiatives as well as what’s to come for the following months of 2018.
The team at Yukon Cares has some wonderful, exciting news to share with you all. We are very happy to announce that through two separate fundraising events, we have reached our budget to sponsor another refugee family – along with another family that we already had the paperwork approved for. Here’s an update on what we’ve done over the past few weeks, and what’s to come.
Yukon Cares, with the collaboration of the incredibly talented Nicole Edwards and many of her friends, threw a fundraising concert on October 21st at the United Church. It turned out to be a wonderful, emotion-filled night for everyone involved. Thanks to the help of Yukoners’ support, the event raised a total of $4,419.35 – one of the organization’s most successful fundraisers to date! A huge thank you goes out to the remarkable volunteers and supporters for allowing Yukon Cares to host such an enriching and inspiring evening. It truly was a joyful night for all that attended. We had 150 people attend the concert, gathered in a spirit of love and service.
Before the concert started, everyone gathered downstairs for a large selection of baked goods available for a draw, while enjoying delicious coffee and desserts prepared by volunteers and friends in their own homes, as well as donated by local businesses. Laughter and happiness filled the entire room as everyone relished each other’s company prior to the inspirational musical talents revealed upstairs. The atmosphere of the entire night was, as Nicole Edwards sings, portrayed by themes to love, serve, and uplift. It is of utmost importance to note that Nicole Edwards chose to celebrate her 25th year of making music in the Yukon by holding a fundraising event for a local charity. Our team at Yukon Cares is beyond grateful that she chose their organization.
During the concert, Yukon Cares volunteer Fiona Azizaj spoke about her own experience as a former refugee that immigrated to Whitehorse with her parents in 2003 at the age of 10. Her heartfelt speech reflected on the positive effects of community support, and how the cycle of receiving and giving continues on with those who have been aided by the community. She echoed this cycle by stating how her family has continued to give support through volunteering in Whitehorse, expressing how those who have been provided with opportunities to better their lives feel encouraged to do the same by helping others that are in need of assistance.
Nicole Edwards had a brand-new choral arrangement perform with her, singing inspirational songs presented from her repertoire of original music, as well as special guest performances from singer Rebecca Law and duo Lexi Joinson and Jasmine Sudlow. The choral arrangement itself was written by Whitehorse musician Olivier de Colombel, and was part of a mentorship that Nicole did with de Colombel funded by an Advanced Artist Award from the Yukon Government. Accompanists for the choral arrangement included Roslyn Wilson, Andrea McColeman and Paul Bergman.
To learn more information about Nicole Edwards’ music, you can visit her website at www.NicoleEdwardsMusic.com. You can also listen to her extensive repertoire on iTunes, Spotify, and Bandcamp.
We are immensely grateful for the amount of support that we received for this event – whether it was through many baking volunteers and local donations provided to us, as well as the talented musicians and vocalists that put on such a wonderful concert; the assistance we received was astonishing. The sanctuary at the United Church was completely full, and the energy that spread throughout the audience was enchanting. We would like to thank all of our sponsors who were so helpful in making this night a big success: 3 Beans Natural Foods, Antoinette’s Restaurant, Arctic Star Printing, Baked Café, Blackbird Bakery, John Layman Calligraphy, JUST2BE DESIGNER, Kobayashi + Zedda, Midnight Sun Coffee Roasters, Real Canadian Superstore, Save on Foods, and The United Church.
On November 18th, our Yukon Cares team had a table at the Global Village Craft Fair held at The Old Fire Hall. We had a Christmas-themed basket as a draw prize, selling raffle tickets between 11am and 3pm. Yukoners once again showed their astounding support by raising $572.65! The basket draw winner was announced at the end of the craft fair, and we would like to mention that none of this would have been possible without the help of the local community and the generosity of local businesses: Corked, Midnight Sun Emporium and Shoppers Drug Mart.
Where to next?
As mentioned, we have completed the paperwork for a Syrian refugee family of five who are awaiting federal approval, as well as an individual, both of whom are relatives of the Aarafat family – the first family resettled in Whitehorse through their organization. While most of the Aarafat family moved to Windsor last summer – where there is a growing community of Syrians – Yukon Cares members never stop fundraising and sponsorship work in the hope of helping as many refugees as logistically possible. That being said, thanks to the success through fundraising over the past few weeks, we have officially reached our budget to sponsor another family of five, with the help of the Yukon community. We are currently working on the paperwork for this new family right now, and have received approval from our Sponsorship Agreement Holder to go through with this process. Once we have selected a profile and move forward with the sponsorship of another family, we will let the public know!
Going into 2018, we are focusing on more fundraising events as the need to help sponsor and resettle refugees is never-ending. With limited funding and time on our hands, our humanitarian organization can always benefit from as much fundraising and community support as possible in hopes of aiding as many people as is reasonable for our community. The entire team at Yukon Cares greatly appreciates all the ongoing support we have received, and cannot express enough that our process would simply not be possible without the help of Yukoners far and wide.
If you’d like to support our organization, you can make a tax deductible donation here on our website.
After five months of planning and fundraising, Yukon Cares is thrilled to finally have welcomed our Syrian family to join our Yukon community here in Whitehorse. The 11-member family arrived to a joyous welcome from many Yukon Cares volunteers and local politicians on Saturday, January 30, 2016.
The family’s arrival had been delayed a few weeks as Yukon Cares volunteers learned that the family of eight children and two adults was now a family with nine children. The family had welcomed a baby boy while they were refugees in Lebanon and a visa had to be obtained for the 18-month old boy, which had delayed their arrival by a few weeks.
Yukon Cares pulled together and through generous donations, volunteers have set up a furnished home for the family along with clothing for every member of the family and toys for the children.
Volunteers with Yukon Cares Sponsorship Committee are also prepared to help the family settle in by providing translation services and local ESL teachers, who will help the family learn English and learn about their new home.
It is hoped that Whitehorse residents will appreciate the hardships these refugees have faced and will welcome this family in true northern style.
Since Yukon Cares was launched last September, Yukoners have been extremely generous with their time and money. Anyone wishing to donate items to this family, or future families we plan to help resettle here in Yukon, are asked to contact us firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yukon Cares would like to extend a huge Yukon thank you to everyone who gave so generously to make the arrival of this family a reality. We are all truly grateful.