Thursday, December 22, 2016

In the Spirit of Caring and Giving

We had a good experience on the weekend when a last minute message from our great (as in grand although they are also great) nephew and niece made a special request.

Here they are, Ben and Mary, our great nephew and niece.

You see, they have been quite active in their community, helping Syrian refugees get settled into their new country. But a family of 4, suddenly had to be at an embassy in Ottawa early on Monday morning. They live 5 hours away, so could they come here on Sunday and stay overnight?

Well yes, they could.

So, our small house suddenly had 9 extra people, 3 of whom were Sha and our two grands, 2 being Ben and Mary, and 4 being the refugee family. Of course, Sha, Danica and JJ just came for dinner and a visit and didn't spend the night, but the other 6 did and were on their way after morning breakfast.

What I wanted to say is what special people both Ben and Mary are. They give to their community and help those in need. They both took a day off work and drove these folk to and from a fairly distant city. Of course, these two wonderful people would have done this at any time, but it seemed like a nice story to share on my blog at Christmas.

It was also nice to meet this refugee family who are settling in very well. They are all doing really well in picking up English. Three of them had learned some of our language previously, but the little 5 year old, couldn't speak a word 6 months ago and now talks perfectly, or close to it.

Their story, or part of it, is that there was a multiple day battle over and around their apartment building. The family huddled in an interior room for several days, after which they woke up to find dead bodies strewn about outside. They decided that they must leave Syria, and it was 2 years ago that they fled to Turkey before ending up here in Canada 6 months ago. When they fled their homeland, they thought that they'd return in 3 months. I don't expect that they will ever return now.

They are a lovely family who are already becoming good Canadians.

Of relevance to Syria and refugees, I am embedding this saddest video ever of recent times in Aleppo where the children have stopped crying, which shows why we might want to open our hearts and countries.

After having prepared this blog, I found this long article about Jim Estill who has spearheaded the relief to refugees such as those who visited us. He is from Guelph, which is where Ben and Mary live, so it is all connected. He as well as people like Ben and Mary are doing remarkable, humanitarian things. In the spirit of caring and giving.

Like Scrooge at the end of A Christmas Carol, they keep Christmas in their hearts all year round.


Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Ben and Mary truly do have a wonderful spirit of helping others and not only during the Christmas season it seems. They are certainly great in many ways, AC.

Marie Smith said...

Love this post AC. The world needs more Ben and Marys.

Silver in AZ said...

The world definitely needs more Anvils and all of their amazing relatives. :)

Vicki Lane said...

A wonderful post! I long for our country to become more like Canada.

Jenn Jilks said...

It is wonderful that so many are doing what they can for this horrific situation. Good for you for hosting, too! What fun!!!

Heather said...

This is lovely and threatens my buttons. Thank you, John. 'In the end only kindness matters.' Oh, for a world where we get that and practice it by opening our hearts, homes and purses.

Shammickite said...

A heartbreaking video.

Mara said...

It must be a scary sound: children who have stopped crying.

Mage said...

Thank you!!!

alphabet soup said...

We need more people in this world with Ben and Mary qualities.

Ms Soup

Tabor said...

How wonderful that you could make such a significant contribution to this tragedy. Rock on!