Annapolis Royal rallies to ready home for refugees

An Annapolis Valley group is getting ready to welcome its newest neighbours to the community.

Community donates money, time and furnishings to home designated for refugees

An Annapolis Valley group hopes it will soon welcome its newest neighbours to the community.

"We're ready," said Laurie McGowan, chair of Annapolis Royal Community Assisting Relocation. 

Renovations to a house have been completed. The group is now waiting on the government to assign them a refugee family in need of a home.

The fundraising campaign to offer a new life to a refugee family in Annapolis Royal has been successful. 

"The pledges were immediately in the thousands and it just set the pace for us," said McGowan.

The group has been busy preparing a house with everything a refugee family could need. 

When it started going through their checklist of things it needed to do, the group was surprised how many people from Annapolis Royal wanted to be a part of the project.

"It's been very heartening and anyone would really get something out of watching how the group is working," said McGowan.

The biggest task for the community group was finding a suitable house. That's when the husband and wife team of Adrian Nette and Sally O'Grady stepped up.

The couple purchased a house in Annapolis Royal and are renting it to the group at a very low cost.

"The house is all furnished by donations from the community," said O'Grady. "The community has been stellar, we raised a lot of money and not a penny of it has been spent."

Renovations complete 

The house was quickly renovated and many members of the community chipped in to ensure all the things that needed doing were done.

Rooms have been freshly painted, a new bathroom was put in the basement and many other tweaks have been made to the home, located in the heart of downtown Annapolis Royal.

The renovations have made the house suitable for nine people to live in.

One woman made a large quilt emblazoned with the words, "Welcome to your new home."

"It's been a very wide net in our community," said O'Grady. "To be involved in that in our own little town, that to me is what it's all about."

The group still doesn't know exactly when a refugee family could arrive. It continues to check a weekly list that is being sent out by the government.

Members hope they will be linked with one of the families on that list sometime soon.


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