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TORONTO: Vinay and Poonam Sarin join group who sponsored 16 members of two Syrian families

Vinay and Poonam Sarin of Toronto have organized a group of people and raised $70,000 to bring in two families of Syrian refugees (16 people in total). Vinay worked at BMO for 25 years, then went to law school and now practices as an immigration lawyer. Poonam spent 10 years working at a women’s shelter. Both are immigrants from India.Toronto immigrant couple pays it forward by sponsoring Syrian refugees

The donors: Vinay and Poonam Sarin

The gift: Helping raise $70,000

The cause: To sponsor two refugee families from Syria


“We were talking about sponsoring some refugees as a way to help others,” said Mr. Sarin, who spent 25 years at Bank of Montreal and is now an immigration lawyer in Toronto.

Working with Lifeline Syria, a charity that assists refugee sponsors, the Sarins joined a group of 11 people in Toronto who sponsored two families consisting of a total of 16 people ranging in age from 3 to 40. One family will be arriving from a refugee camp in Turkey and the other from a camp in Lebanon. The group has raised $70,000 to help settle the family and organized accommodation and other necessities.

The Sarins feel a special bond with the new arrivals since both immigrated to Canada in the 1970s from India. “This country has been good to us,” said Ms. Sarin, who spent 10 years working at a women’s shelter in Toronto. “And we are proud to be Canadians.”

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