VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – A Vancouver doctor who donates generously to refugees says people shouldn’t be afraid of newcomers. Dr. Daniel LeForge has given thousands each year to the Rainbow Refugee Society through a local fundraiser.
An Evening In Damascus has raised nearly $150,000 over the last five years to bring LGBT refugees to safety with a fundraising night of music and food. It’s a cause that’s dear to LeForge’s heart.
“For being who they are, a queer person like I am, they face imprisonment, torture, isolation from their communities and families,” he says.
He wants more of us to consider the value that refugees bring with them when they come to Canada.
“They’re very courageous people, they’ve very resilient, very tenacious. Those are people that add to our society.”
This year An Evening in Damascus raised $37,000 to bring a mom and her three children coming from Africa, as well as a lesbian refugee from Syria, to Canada.
“They’re coming here under incredible duress. Money is important.”
LeForge and his husband see their charity work as teamwork, and he says more people in a position of privilege should take a minute to consider what could have to offer.
“Logistical support, providing friendships, providing connections, going to meet people at the airport. All those things are just as important.”
He says he came out in his 40s and was lucky to have the kind of support many would never find their home countries.
“I’ve lucked out because of time, place, space and race and all the other things given to me in the privilege of my life,” LeForge says. “It’s important for me to give back and [help] people who have struggled before me and help other people in their struggles.”
This year’s fundraiser took place on July 26.