Syrian refugees to make home in Lewisporte thanks to minister and donations

One family of Syrian refugees is expected to soon call Lewisporte home, thanks to the efforts of a minister in the town, and a large donation that could bring in a second family.
Rev. Stephanie McClellan is expecting a refugee family to take up residence in a newly-renovated part of her home very soon. (

A Syrian refugee family should soon be making their new home in Lewisporte any day now, and a second family might not be coming far behind.

Reverend Stephanie McClellan, a United Church minister in the town, renovated a basement apartment in her home to house a family. She paid for the renovations out of her own pocket, and even sold her snowmobile to raise some of the money.

McClellan said the family that moves into the apartment will also live there rent-free.

She said volunteers are still needed however, as the call to come pick up the family could come at any moment.

"We need folks that are willing to drive them to the grocery store, to help them learn to shop with our currency and the complications of buying fresh fruit, and all those things, right?" McClellan said.

"There's a lot of culture stuff."

Donation for a second family

In addition, a second Syrian refugee family could also arrive in Lewisporte, after a big donation from the town's Pentecostal church.

Trevor Tetford sits on the church board, and said the congregation graciously donated to the cause. 

"We did a fundraiser at the church. We approached our congregation and we told them that we needed about $30,000 to bring in a second family," Tetford said.  

"We announced it about a week in advance, and then on the Sunday morning our church donated about $20,000."

Tetford said the church only needs about $4,000 more to reach its goal of sponsoring another Syrian family.