Outpouring of support after children's deaths: 'Everyone is pulling together' - InfoNews

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Outpouring of support after children's deaths: 'Everyone is pulling together'

A memorial of flowers and stuffed animal toys is seen outside the scene of a fatal house fire in the Spryfield community in Halifax on Wednesday, February 20, 2019. The early-morning fire claimed the lives of seven Syrian refugee children and left the surviving mother and father in hospital.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese
February 21, 2019 - 10:30 AM

HALIFAX - There is a growing outpouring of support as Canadians look for ways to express their grief and help after the Halifax house fire that killed seven children and left their father in critical condition.

Seven kids, aged between three months and 14 years, died in a fire early Tuesday. The children's father, Ebraheim Barho, remains in critical condition.

The young Syrian family arrived in Nova Scotia in September 2017 as refugees, and the scale of the tragedy has struck a chord with Canadians.

A GoFundMe campaign had raised roughly $438,000 by midday Thursday, with a $1-million goal.

A popular Halifax doughnut shop, Vandal Doughnuts, was donating the proceeds of its sales Thursday to the family.

READ MORE: Ottawa looking at reuniting Syrian family after fire claims seven children

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, centre, meets with Muslim leaders and community members following a vigil held for the seven siblings of a Syrian refugee family who died in a house fire and the surviving mother and father in Halifax on Wednesday, February 20, 2019.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, centre, meets with Muslim leaders and community members following a vigil held for the seven siblings of a Syrian refugee family who died in a house fire and the surviving mother and father in Halifax on Wednesday, February 20, 2019.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

"There was no hesitation when the news broke that we wanted to do something, and we felt this was the best way we could contribute back," said general manager Jonathan Imber.

He said more than 100 people were lined up in the falling snow Thursday morning, waiting for them to open.

"Response has been humbling. It just shows you how much this affected everyone in the city, and everyone is pulling together," said Imber, adding a number of their suppliers had donated goods, and he expected to sell about 3,000 doughnuts.

Peace By Chocolate had also donated cases of chocolate bars to assist with the fundraiser, he said.

The now-famous Antigonish, N.S., company was founded by the Hadhad family, who fled their home in war-torn Syria in 2012 and arrived in Nova Scotia with next to nothing in 2016.

Tareq Hadhad, CEO of the company, has said Peace by Chocolate aims to give back to the country that welcomed his family when so many nations were closing their borders to the Syrian plight.

Meanwhile, a Halifax woman and her cousin have started an effort they hope will give people another way to show support for the Barho family.

In a Facebook post, Andrea Bennett encouraged people to display stuffed toys outside their homes.

"I am at a loss for the Barho family and I know as a community we all want to do something to remember the lives of those 7 beautiful children," she wrote.

"What if as a community tonight we place stuffed animals outside our doors in memory of the children, like the hockey sticks for the Humboldt Broncos players. What does everyone think?"

The idea has caught on, with stuffed toys seen on front steps and balconies near the scene of the fire.

— By Kevin Bissett in Fredericton

News from © The Canadian Press, 2019
The Canadian Press

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