MANITOULIN—The Manitoulin refugee resettlement committee has received news that five Eritrean families have been approved to come to the Island and efforts are ramping up to provide a safe and comfortable landing for the new arrivals. To that end, the Little Current committee will be hosting a come and go ‘In the Spirit of Giving’ shower on November 29 from 2 to 4 pm at the Little Current United Church hall.

“We are looking for new or ‘gently’ used furniture, household items, housewares, as well as cash or gift cards which would enable us to purchase anything else that is needed,” noted Linda Erskine of Little Current, one of the local organizers. “We will have hot chocolate and Christmas baking for everyone to enjoy while dropping off their items.”

A post on the Manitoulinrefuge Facebook page provides some details on the approved families.

“We are excited to let you all know the good news,” reads the post. “This week we received word that five families are now approved, had their security clearances and are ready to make Manitoulin their home. All of these families are from Eritrea and are currently in refugee camps in Ethiopia.”

The families that will be going to each Island community at this point are anticipated to be as follows. In Mindemoya, where the contact is Monic Shaw, they are awaiting a family made up of a father (38), mother (29), daughter (10), son (7), son (5), son (3) and daughter (2).

In Manitowaning, where the contact is Lianne Hovingh, the family consists of a father (66), mother (54), daughter (22), son (21), son (19), son (11) and grandson (8).

In Little Current there will possibly be three families, one family where the first contact is Linda Erskine and consists of a widow (54), son (30), son (25), son (19), daughter (15), daughter (11) and daughter (7); a second family in Little Current, where the contact is Dr. Ben Quackenbush, and consists of a mother (36), son (7) and daughter (6); and a third family which will be settled in either Gore Bay or Little Current and whose contact is also Dr. Quackenbush consists of a grandmother (49) and grandson (16).