Surprise wedding reception for Syrian refugees – Without waiting to be asked

Monday, 7 December, 2015
20151207 Surprise wedding reception for Syrian refugees - Without waiting to be asked

Surprise wedding reception for Syrian refugees

From CBC News Dec 6, 2015, (with video) “Surprise wedding reception for Syrian refugees in Saskatoon – Couple fled Syria 10 days after marriage

From CBC News Dec 6, 2015, “Q&A: How people in Saskatoon rallied to throw surprise wedding for Syrian couple – CBC reporter’s social media post inspires wedding donations

Sometimes, the goodness in us will do something kind to help others without waiting to be asked.

#BuyPens Photo of Syrian refugee selling pens to feed his young daughter – Without waiting to be asked

Thursday, 3 December, 2015

Here is CBC News report in August 2015 (with video), “The life of a single father, who just three days ago was spotted selling pens in the streets of Beirut to feed his tired young daughter, has been forever changed thanks to a single photograph.

Abdul Halim Attar is a Palestinian-Syrian refugee living in Lebanon with his nine-year-old son Abdelillah and his four-year-old daughter Reem.

A chocolate factory worker before the civil war broke out in his country, Attar reportedly lived with his family at the embattled Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus before fleeing three years ago. He is one of 1.1 million refugees from Syria who currently reside in Lebanon.

Icelandic web developer named Gissur Simonarson launched a crowdfunding campaign that tried to help without waiting to be asked. We can’t solve all of world problems but we can try to do something to effect changes.

Note: This 2015 Dec 3 UK Independent report has been RT by Simonarson, “#BuyPens: Syrian refugee photographed selling pens to feed children uses crowdfunding to start businesses

Peterborough mosque arson/hate crime reactions – Without waiting to be asked

Wednesday, 18 November, 2015
20151118 Community Support for Peterborough's Only Mosque

“Community Support for Peterborough’s Only Mosque” crowdfunding campaign screen capture

It sickens decent Canadians to watch the news of Peterborough mosque arson (a suspected hate crime) and knowing the fire has caused ~$80,000 in estimated smoke damage. Peterborough mayor Daryl Bennett, MP Maryam Monsef and Imam Shazim Khan came together quickly to condemn the attack and the mayor said the attack was “totally out of character”. And Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also issued a statement in response to multiple recent incidents, “Diversity is Canada’s strength. These vicious and senseless acts of intolerance have no place in our country and run absolutely contrary to Canadian values of pluralism and acceptance.

Sometimes darkness gives people a chance to shine light. A crowdfunding project entitled “Community Support for Peterborough’s Only Mosque” was quick in raising $110,536 (far exceeding the upper estimate of the repair costs) from 2097 contributors in just 2 days, all “without waiting to be asked” (to quote the five eloquent words by U.S. Ambassador David Jacobson’s 2011/09/11 tribute (CBC video) at the town of Gander, N.L.).

P.S. For the record, I like to acknowledge Duane Rousselle‘s awesome work by quoting a 2015 Nov 15 Huffington Post Canada article,

Duane Rousselle, a Peterborough resident, quickly started a FundRazr page on Sunday to encourage those “of all or no faiths” to help the Muslim community rebuild the mosque.

Donations immediately started flooding in, totalling roughly $6,600 in two hours.

“It is heartwarming, to say the least,” Rousselle wrote on his personal Facebook page, about these initial figures.

Four hours later, the campaign hit the $20,000 mark — and reached over 25 per cent of its total fundraising goal.

On Nov 18, 2015, Duane gave the following public Facebook update plus some feedback to the online fund raising tool Fundrazr.

“The numbers are in:
Total amount raised before fees = $110,536.35
Total combined FundRazr/WePay fees removed = $9,361.47
Total amount remaining after fees = $101,174.88”

P.P.S. In a previous post, I wrote about my tiny volunteering work in “Thanks from Office of Canada’s Veterans Ombudsman – Without waiting to be asked” not to “brag” but simply trying to inspire others to volunteer and to help “without waiting to be asked”. Just like Duane, we can all do what we can, big or small.

Thanks from Office of Canada’s Veterans Ombudsman – Without waiting to be asked

Tuesday, 17 November, 2015
20151113 Thanks from Canada's Veterans Ombudsman

20151113 Thanks from Canada’s Veterans Ombudsman

I am not the type that hang awards or academic credentials on my walls but I feel really thrilled to receive this brief recognition form the Office of Canada’s Veterans Ombudsman (french). So, with permission from the Office, let me share my thank you note with you. My small hope is to inspire more people to try to help veterans by keeping an eye on issues important to them and hold our new Canadian government accountable when necessary “without waiting to be asked” (to quote U.S. Ambassador David Jacobson’s 2011/09/11 tribute (CBC video) at the town of Gander, N.L.).

11/12, 9:56am
Canada’s Veterans Ombudsman
Hello Mr. Lam,

We wanted to sincerely thank you for your time and efforts to share our Facebook pages in hopes of raising awareness of Veterans’ issues. We wholeheartedly agree that it is important for Canadians to know about the issues facing our Veterans, and that they must be honoured and supported for the sacrifices they have made for our country. Your efforts will surely have an impact on the visibility of Veterans’ issues year-round.

For more information on the last five years at the Office of the Veterans Ombudsman, under Guy Parent’s mandate, and some of our plans for the way forward, please read our latest report, My Five Years as Veterans Ombudsman: Narrowing the Gap for Veterans and their Families:

Again, we greatly appreciate your efforts on behalf of Veterans and their families!

Best regards,
Communications team
Office of the Veterans Ombudsman


Kempton’s Note: On the 2015 Federal election night, Canadian Prime Minister-designate Justin Trudeau closed his speech with, “this is Canada, and in Canada better is always possible“. I think we can help make Canada better by helping our veterans or any other issues dear to our hearts (e.g. helping to welcome Syrian refugees in big or small ways we can).

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