TRAC Update

Hello friends of TRAC!

Thank you so much for your support throughout the past four months. Each one of you has contributed to the development of TRAC and I am continually inspired by the generosity of the TWU community. Since our kick-off event on February 2, TRAC has grown in unimaginable ways. Summer break has provided an appreciated opportunity to reflect on the journey of TRAC, and I am excited to share with you what has taken place. I hope it encourages you and represents the tangible impact that your support has made in the lives of those who need it.

Sponsorship

Since TRAC began, our main project has been to sponsor a refugee family in their first year of resettlement through a partnership with MCC. Initially, we intended to sponsor a family of six which required a fundraising goal of $34,000. We set out with big plans for how to raise these funds, but the generosity of our community blew everyone away. Throughout our initial months, we were engaged in a variety of events. These included our Kick-Off Event, a TRAC Night at TWU volleyball games, the Night of Stories, TRAC Day at a Pole Vault meet, Voices for TRAC, Fort-Printing Co.’s Launch, the SAMC disPLACE production, and a Year-End Party. These events allowed us to reach new audiences and to grow closer to our goal.

Another component of our fundraising efforts has included selling merchandise. We started off with an initial order of 22 t-shirts, and ended the semester having sold 376 pieces of merchandise, including t-shirts, hoodies, crewnecks, and baseball t-shirts! Every single piece of merchandise was hand folded and each order was personalized by name with a TRAC tag. All of the profits from these sales went directly to supporting our family.

Finally, we received constant donations through our online donation registry. Generous individuals contributed for no benefit, and we are so thankful to each and every one of our donors.

The money raised from events, merchandise sales, and donations has resulted in a total of $26,463.43. While this total is below our initial goal of $34,000, consultation with members of the refugee services community and other sponsorship groups led TRAC to change our family size from six to four. This was done to ensure that we provide resources responsibly and effectively and act within our means as a first-time sponsorship group. This smaller family size decreases the originally quoted financial sponsorship requirement, resulting in an amount which has been exceeded after raising $26,463.43.

Reaching and exceeding our goal is a major accomplishment for all of us, and I want to thank each of you that has made this possible. This milestone means that we are moving forward with the sponsorship process and we are working hard to be prepared for the family we will be blessed to do life with.

Volunteering

The volunteering component of TRAC is something we are excited to see continual growth in. We have developed relationships with a variety of fantastic organizations doing work locally and globally. These organizations include the Mennonite Central Committee, the Middle Eastern Friendship Centre, The Kurdi Foundation, KinBrace, PuCKS, Inasmuch, the Refugee and Immigrant Welcome Centre, and New Hope Community Services. We have supported these groups through teaching English, providing childcare, facility maintenance, fundraising and event support, and advertising. We have also connected with other sponsorship groups in the area and are moving towards providing friendship and English support for refugee children. To date, we have had approximately thirty volunteers working with different organizations.

This summer we will continue to have a variety of volunteer opportunities available for TWU students. We are also continuing to seek new partnership opportunities to volunteer locally. Whether you are local or live around the world there are options for you, if you are interested email us at volunteer.trac.twu@gmail.com.

Team Update

Our team has continued to grow since TRAC formed last fall. Each new addition is a talented, caring, and intelligent individual that is ready and eager to contribute their time to mobilize the TWU community in response to the refugee crisis. In total, there are 13 members of our leadership committee with varying responsibilities. We are looking forward to adding first years and others to the group in the fall.

The Future

Moving forward, TRAC is hoping to set-up a scholarship for students who arrived in Canada as refugees. While there is a lot of preliminary work yet to be done, we are hoping to arrange this project to keep the TWU community involved in fundraising and refugee relief.

With purpose and passion,

Jordan and the TRAC team