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Family recently transplanted to Okanagan gets helping hand

Harmony Honda’s president Manse Binkley (centre) makes a young immigrant family’s dream come true by gifting them with a set of keys to their very own 2012 Honda Civic.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Westside Salvation Army
July 07, 2021 - 7:00 PM

A young family that's had a rough start to building a life far from their home country has been gifted something to smooth out the road ahead.

The couple was given a 2012 Civic from Harmony Honda. The generous gift came about when Rob Henson, pastor for Renew Church in West Kelowna, reached out to the dealership.

Harmony Honda’s president Manse Binkley heard how the young family faced numerous struggles on their journey to the Okanagan and Binkley knew he wanted to help, so he took stock of his used car inventory and selected a suitable, reliable and safe car to meet the family’s needs.

“This is a young family trying to improve their life,” Binkley said in a press release. “They are new to Canada and have already faced so many challenges and hardships in their journey, it’s time they catch a break.”

The family left their home country, which wasn't disclosed in the press release, and in 2015 and found themselves in Europe. There, the Westside Salvation Army said they found themselves trapped, when COVID-19 made international travel a daunting challenge. 

That's also when they connected with The Salvation Army and when Renew Church congregation in West Kelowna decided to sponsor their journey to Canada, rallying and raising the funds necessary for a safe voyage. They also were able to support their first year in Canada.

During the wait to immigrate, the couple found out they were expecting, complicating the process. But the Renew Church family persisted and supported them in every way possible. Their baby boy was born on Jan.8.

"In the beginning, there were health challenges, but he’s thriving now. His parents are taking English classes and his dad is a skilled tradesman taking work wherever he can find it," the Westside Salvation Army said in a press release.

Both parents would like to earn a living and spend time with their newborn son and commuting on transit is functional, but not practical for the family.  

“I have witnessed a lot of happy customers leave our lot,” Binkley said. “But this one was a little more special.”

To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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