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Huge community outpouring of assistance for family who lost home/business in fire

Students from Prince Edward Collegiate Institute partnered with the Elks Lodge to raise $1,000 for the Mustafa El Husein family who lost their home and business to fire May 28 in Wellington.

Their effort is just one part of a huge community outpouring of assistance.

Karen Adams orchestrated a car wash and put out a call at PECI for students to participate. They raised $500 in proceeds, which was matched by the Picton Elks Lodge.

Elks president Steve Milligan with Karen Adams and her children Owen and Harvey Bakes, students at PECI.

“A huge thank you to all who came out to the car wash fundraiser in support of a local family that lost both their home and business to a fire last week. What an amazing community we live in,” said Adams.

Carlyn Moulton, founder of PECSyria, agrees.

Immediately following the fire, she launched a ‘Fundly’ campaign seeking donations to help the family of Adnan Mustafa and Suhaila El Husein who made it out of their home safely with their five children.

As of Friday morning, 567 donors have raised $71,703 and in an update this week, Moulton says that in addition to a short term rental, they have now found a home in Wellington that they can move into the end of July, so they can stay in the same community and schools, rebuild their kitchen and business. Adnan, she notes, has missed cooking so much, he is helping his brother Nasr at King Falafel at Zwicks Park.

Suhaila El Husein and Adnan Mustafa

She also shared a message from Adnan wanting to express appreciation and thank everyone who helped.

“Everyone has been by my side and that made me stand up even stronger. By you guys helping me and my family, I’m just so grateful my family is fine and that the most important thing to me right now. I also want to say I’m sorry I haven’t been answering anyone at this moment, I’ve been going though a lot and everything has been going through my head. It’s crazy, I can’t believe it happened, it’s like a dream but it’s fine; we are all fine and that’s what matters to me. Thank you all again I appreciate everything.”

Many people have also offered furniture and other donations, but Moulton notes that once they get settled this week, they will have a better sense of what they need in the short and the longer term.

“However if anyone knows about a great used wheelchair van, please let us know,” she adds. A message can be left on the PECSyria Facebook account by clicking here

The fundraising campaign is to help cover the costs to replace the special equipment (including a van) for son Abudi, and the cost of rebuilding a commercial kitchen.

Suhaila El Husein and Adnan Mustafa launched operate a successful Middle Eastern food business, Papa Ghanoush and Momma Hummus. Their prepared food is on supermarket shelves across the region, and they are familiar faces at special events and farmers’ markets throughout the summer and fall.

Moulton, in the ‘Fundly’ campaign had explained this is the third time the family has lost everything.

War in Syria destroyed their first home. They spent five years in Lebanon as refugees before they left everything behind again to come to Canada, sponsored and supported by the PECSyria group of volunteers in Prince Edward County.

“Since 2016, these open-hearted new Canadians have embraced their new home,” said Moulton. “The children have settled into school and sports. The community had rallied to help the family attain specialized equipment for a son with special needs – custom-built bed, chairs and van – all of which have now been lost or damaged in the fire.”

This campaign is expected to stay open until Monday, June 12. Click here

So far, PECSyria has sponsored more than 75 people, former refugees from Syria.

“We are in the process of sponsoring more families, including the immediate relatives of both Adnan and Suhaila,” adds Moulton. “If you would like to help us sponsor them, click here .

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