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Nico

South African Family from USA

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Nico

Fellow South Africans,

I have been involved in assisting a family in the USA that was caught in the middle of the current economic crises. They were on a two year work permit but the husbands contract was terminated after six months. The husband received a job offer from a Law Firm in Fort McMurray and they are on their way from Phoenix, USA.

They urgently need some assistance - winter clothes and shoes etc

Scott - father is a Large and shoe size 12.

Cheryl -mother and Kathryn (daughter) are a ladies small, jeans size 1 and shoe size 6.5.

Jordan is a boys 14 and shoe size 8.

Adrienne (son) is a 6x and wears a 7 jeans, shoe size 2.

Devyn (daughter)is a 8, shoe siize is 12.5

Keir (son) is a 5 clothing and shoe size 11.5.

Any cash donations will be appreciated.

Please contact me should you need further information Address: 2610 2nd Ave NW Calgary AB T2N 0H8 Cell: (403) 607-5274

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Dedré

Nico, I deleted your other topic, as it is the same and everyone can respond to one topic. It will make things easier if people do respond.

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Ingrid Brunkhorst Hurrell

Nico

Their church, school as well as another SA website also did fundraisers for them.

Besides giving them cash, some folks even sent gas cash cards, etc.

I guess a big family has a lot of needs. Cheryl has posted here under Cheryl Storm as a username. Some folks may remember her.

I know there were folks from SACanada as well who were concerned about them.

Won't take them long to settle and make a new start and as many of us have had to do, thrift stores and FreeCycle are great resources until one's income goes up.

You did a great job in helping them with their paperwork, Nico!

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jen1

I am delighted to hear this worked out for them and that they did not have to return to SA. I have been wondering about them. Thanks for helping them out Nico.

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dieulefit

A better ending to a story that gripped everyone's heart - thanks to people like you Nico. I'm sure they will receive great support from the equally fabulous ex-pat (South African) community in Fort McMurray. Good luck to this family!

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Pierre

Nico, I sent you a PM and tel message.

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Nico

Thank you to everybody and all the kind words.

I am blessed to could have helped. Thank you to Pierre and Julia who responded already from Fort McMurray.

Nico

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Nico

Dear Friends,

The Allan family asked me to convey their sincere thanks to all of you - they were speechless about the way everyone reacted. Cheryl will also send a personal note from the family once they are settled in Fort McMurray.

We have received more clothes that the family could take with them and I will ship the balance to them in Fort McMurray. Thank you again!

The family left early this morning and will arrive in Fort McMurray tonight. Pierre & Julia du Plessis offered to provide initial accommodation to the Allan's and I trust they will soon be settled. Thank you also in advance for all the assistance I know will be forthcoming in the northern city.

I personally also would like to say - I realize South Africans can work together and help each other - I am proud to be a South African.

Thank you all!!!

Nico

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Hendie

Dis mos waarvoor SACanada hier is! Wel gedaan mense, en Pierre en Julia, julle laat mens se hart sommer tjoklits klop!

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Pierre

They arrived safely today in Fort McMurray.

Nico, thanks for your role in helping the family - which is probably more than what people on the forum may be aware of.

We'll look after them from here on till they are on their feet.

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Pierre

Update:

Scott started work on Feb 17.

They moved to an apartment across from the schools.

The kids are in school (except for the reading week now).

The kids are in classes together with other SA kids.

Assistance and promise of assistance is coming in anonymously from other SA people in FMM.

(Not too surprising for me since FMM has one of the biggest per capita donations to the United way in Canada. The colder the weather the warmer the hearts it seems.)

Thank you message from them left on my desk to the donors:

"To all concerned: On behalf of the Allan family, I wish to express my deep and sincere gratitude for all the kind assistance and support that have been offered to us on our arrival. We are overwhelmed and have no words. Yours faithfully: Scott, Cheryl and family." Signed.

They will have a computer and internet soon and be able to convey first hand their experiences.

I feel sorry for them landing here in this winter.

It was -31C this morning. But they survived somehow.

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Pierre

The Allans left FMM yesterday and are on their way by car to London Ontario.

Scott's employment was suddenly terminated due to economic conditions of the company.

The family is in shock but realise they have to move to a more affordable place.

We wish them luck on their journey.

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Dedré

Thank you for the update Pierre.

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Pierre

They departed Monday morning.

They have been on the road for four days and reached Thunder Bay tonight.

At the rate they are going they should make it to Sault Ste Marie tomorrow and London via Sudbury by Sat evening.

That is six full days on the road.

Wow - they must be exhausted.

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macdonlg

Thanks for the update - I have been wondering what has happened to them as they never posted since arriving in Canada. Why did they go to London? - did they have a job secured there? It sure must be a trying time for the kids especially, being taken out of school so many times in a short period. If they need anything please let us know and we will give what we can.

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Pierre

Thanks for the interest Macdonlg. I will elaborate a bit for the SA community’s sake. There are some lessons here for others.

We have been in contact personally and via email several times.

There is a small support group who anonymously donated to their rent, furniture, food etc. plus fundraisers at their school.

It was very tough if not virtually impossible for them to survive in FMM on a one income basis.

His company did not provide the benefits and support that we generally experience from the oil companies.

They are a small new law firm who is struggling to find its feet in FMM.

Out of the blue Scott was told they cannot pay him and he has to leave the same day.

No advance payments etc.

It was near the month end and they decided it was time to go elsewhere where life is cheaper.

His work permit allows him to find employment elsewhere and work till it expires in two years time.

He also is not licensed to practice so that limits his earning capacity.

Apparently he does not need the qualifications in Ontario as opposed to FMM.

He stated that he would have to write "articles" - and I don't think it refers to newspaper articles.

A short survey showed there are hundreds of firms employing people of his qualifications in Toronto.

So that's where they were planning to go.

In FMM it's all about the oil industry and property business.

Scott's expertise lies in "family matters". There are lots of divorces in FMM so that side of business should be attractive. But it seems people try to avoid lawyers and settle out of court to save costs.

I am paraphrasing as I understand what he and Cheryl told us.

Cheryl communicates mostly through face book and I don't. So some of the detail is lost for me.

They were paying $3500 for a furnished apartment with services included.

In London, ON they can get a four bedroom apartment unfurnished for just over $1000.

They hunted around a lot in the short time available for accommodation.

They had literally two days to pack up and go with the rent expiring.

Most land lords wanted references, past history, employer letters etc.

With him being unemployed and still looking for work in Toronto it was a non-starter.

His landlord and agent in FMM could hardly speak English and difficult to understand.

They must have had some difficulties with them which is why Scott did not want to give them up as a reference.

They found a place in London that accepted them on account of them having lived with us for some time and providing telephone reference for them.

They have enough money for the DD and one month's rent. There was just enough money also to get them to London.

But it has taken them much longer than they anticipated, so there is hotel/motel costs food etc along the way.

Thankfully a donor in FMM transferred additional funds via interac to get them to their destination.

Remember, they are two adults and five children plus a cat in a minivan, fully loaded with what they were able to take along.

I understand they packed a lot of things in boxes to be sent to their new address.

They were scrambling for inflatable mattresses to have something to sleep on when they get to the apartment in London on Saturday evening.

The FMM SA people put in an extra effort to send them on their road with a good start.

They have to find work asap. With bi-weekly pay and a first pay check usually coming a week after the first pay period, they will need more help for the second month's rent.

Lots of advice was given to them, some of it was taken, others not.

We are not in a position to judge them.

They needed help and that's what was given and appreciated.

Till one has stood in their shoes one does not have ground to criticise too much.

For those able to help financially the interac way is the easiest.

From your bank you can donate online to their email address which is keircool@gmail.com (I will check if I got it correct - don't have it with me right now)

You post a question to which only they know the answer. If you need help with that you can give me a shout.

When they get a notification from the bank and answer the question correctly the transfer of funds to their bank is done.

The cost of the transfer is $1.50.

I don't have the address in London where they are going.

It would be great if someone there could welcome them to town with a cup of tea or something.

That in short is their situation. Your prayers are appreciated.

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