Small town, big heart: How the crisis in Syria has changed Antigonish
Community raises $173,500 to help at least five families
The Syrian refugee crisis has become personal for many people in Antigonish, N.S.
In fact, people are feeling so inspired, a few of the organizations they've set up to help refugees are grappling with the unique problem of having too many volunteers.
What motivates them is their own history. Several of those leading the charge are success stories of their own, showing what refugee families can do.
There's the daughter of Vietnamese boat people who collected and sorted through bags and bags of donated goods. A professor who fled Lebanon 40 years ago when the first Trudeau was prime minister, and learned to call Canada home. One woman was inspired to pay it forward by her father's struggles as a child in Holland during the Second World War as the Canadians arrived to help his starving family.
It's these deeply personal moments that have pushed Antigonish to raise a whopping amount of money for a small town — $173,500 and counting.
That's enough to bring five refugee families to the community, with hopes of even more.
The CBC's Carolyn Ray and Steve Berry went to Antigonish to see first hand how the community is changing, in a series we're calling Small Town, Big Heart.
How they did it
- Antigonish students, teachers, businesses on board to raise money for refugees
- Reuniting Antigonish's Syrian family a priority, say volunteers
Why it's personal
- Former refugee families 'paying it forward,' helping Syrians in Antigonish
- Syrian refugees paving the way for more immigrants in Antigonish, says council