Ellie Bartosik and her mom Jennie are used to having neighbours stop by with their recycled cans and bottles.
The mother-daughter team is part of the Roots Reunited Sponsorship Group, which is raising funds to bring a family of Syrian refugees to Victoria.
“Two and a half years ago, I sponsored my first refugee family with another group of people, we do it as a group of volunteers together and they’ve asked us to sponsor their relatives that are waiting in the Middle East,” says Jennie.”So we’ve taken that on and it’s a large family so it’s a lot of fundraising.”
Ellie and Jennie’s fundraising exploits have included numerous bottle drives as well as a 29 kilometre bike ride along the Lochside Trail.
“Ellie and her friends had the idea to go for a bike ride and take pledges because there wasn’t much else to do during COVID for fundraisers,” says Jennie.
“The Lochside Trail goes right past our house and we have been doing a lot of biking last summer it just seemed like something we could do,” adds Ellie.
So far they’ve raised $35,000, just over half of their fundraising goal. It’s an ongoing effort that both Ellie and Jennie are happy to be a part of.
“It feels really nice to know that you’re helping somebody who really needs it,” says Ellie.
“I love seeing the change in their life that’s come about from them being able to come here and be resettled in Canada and then the second refugee that we sponsored last year, same thing, she’s doing really well here,” adds Jennie.
It’s also made for a proud mom.
“It’s incredible,” says Jennie.
To find out how you can help, search Roots Reunited Sponsorship Group on Facebook.