Shine a light this holiday season

Most journeys begin with hope

This year, like others in the past, we welcomed hundreds of refugees who fled their homes with hope in their hearts – the hope of safety, the hope of family, the hope of community, and the hope of finding a place where they belong. 

As we shift out of the pandemic and into our new world, we have been reflecting on what that new world looks and feels like. We want to create a world where safety, belonging and inclusivity are our normal. How do you want our community to look? 

Creating a community of belonging, inclusivity and safety is possible with your help. During this holiday season as Diwali diyas, Advent candles, Menorahs, and Kwanzaa candles shine messages of peace, joy, and unity across our community, help create a beacon of hope to hundreds fleeing from violence and oppression and looking for peace and purpose. Your gift to Reception House will Shine A Light this holiday season.  

Recently we received this note from Bashir regarding his and his family’s move out of temporary accommodation and into their first home in Canada:

“I and my family are truly appreciative of you … we hope to stay and enjoy our first year of residency in the Kitchener Waterloo region and work together with the reception house in all our new Canadian life trainings orientations, housing, community integration, schooling of my kids, job finding, health as well as smooth processing of my IRCC documentations.” 

Bashir, a client of Reception House

Because of your support, newcomers like Bashir and his family are off to a great start in Canada. Your support is needed to ensure other newcomers can have the same great support.  

Here are some examples of what your gift can provide for our newest neighbours:

  • $50 provides a backpack filled with activity books, toys and fun supplies for a newcomer child during their mandatory 2-week quarantine period  
  • $100 ensures that people have access to crucial information about support, services, and educational materials available in multiple languages. 
  • $200 provides a Welcome Kit filled with essential items newcomers take with them as they move into their first Canadian home.   
  • $500 places a Chromebook into the hands of a newcomer family and provides some one-on-one Digital Literacy instruction.   
  • $1000 provides newcomer children with a safe and inclusive space to learn and play, equipped with a variety of activities.  

It’s important to understand that we’ll never know exactly what people need until a few weeks or days – or sometimes even hours, before they arrive. We appreciate your flexibility in where your gift goes so we can create a positive resettlement experience. 

This year, in addition to our anticipated arrivals, we welcomed refugees fleeing the crisis in Afghanistan. Our newcomer friends were welcomed by a community full of hope and support – we received notes and calls from hundreds of community members who offered clothing, activities, supplies and financial donations. If you were one of these community members, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. 

Help us to continue to welcome our newest neighbours by making a donation this holiday season. You helped build this warm and welcoming community and we know the number of people working to keep it safe and inclusive is growing.  


Shine a light this holiday season. 

From all of us at Reception House, thank you! 

Great Reads for the Season

Looking for a great read about the Refugee journey? Check out these options – with links to Words Worth Books.

What Strange Paradise by Omar El Akkad – purchase link

While the Earth Sleeps We Travel: Stories, Poetry, and Art from Young Refugees Around the World by Ahmed M Badr – purchase link

Homes A Refugee Story by Abu Bakr al Rabeeah, Winnie Yeung – purchase link