KITCHENER, Ontario — (CANADIAN CHRISTIAN NEWS SERVICE) — Mennonite Coalition for Refugee Support (MCRS) is pleased to celebrate its thirtieth year as the leading charitable organization located in the Waterloo, Ontario Region that provides assistance to people seeking refuge through Canada’s refugee claim process.

In an era when millions of people around the world are on the move, many running from persecution, oppression, corruption and personal threats against their lives, MCRS has been the beginning of hope for safety and a new life in Canada.

 Thousands of people coming from over 30 different countries in the world have been supported by MCRS over thirty years with direct assistance for the claims process and helpful referrals to partners for settlement needs. The organization commemorated this milestone with a celebration and fundraising gala on May 13th, 2017 at the Tannery in Kitchener, ON.

 MCRS began operations in December 1987 with three refugee support workers hired for a full-time equivalent position to walk the complex path of resettlement with refugee claimants fleeing suffering and wars in Central America. Financial support came from four local Mennonite churches and Mennonite Central Committee Ontario (MCCO) with a budget for the first year of operation of $25,000.

 Now, in 2017, MCRS is seeing record numbers of people seeking refuge while working with a still small budget of $355,000 and through a much more complex and drawn-out system than when MCRS first began. The organization relies heavily on volunteers and solely on the generosity of donors from many different backgrounds.

 A large majority of those who come to MCRS for help get a “Yes,” meaning their refugee claim is approved and they can begin to rebuild their lives here in Canada, safe at last.

 To read inspiring stories of lives changed and to learn more about MCRS and the extraordinary work of this organization, or to donate in support of people looking for safety for themselves and their families, visit the MCRS website at
For more information or interviews, contact: 
Shelley Campagnola
Tel: 519-571-1912 x102