WHO WE ARE
WeDoSomething Mtl was founded in October 2015, The day after the body of 3-year old Aylan Kurdi washed up on a Turkish beach.
On that day, Sophie Tarnowska sent an email to ask her friends if they would help her do something to help refugees. She had no idea that that would be the beginning of WeDoSomething Mtl.
By then Syrian refugees had been drowning at sea and abandoned at borders for months, and yet it seemed that all we could do was to show that we cared by sharing heartbreaking images and articles on social media. It felt like virtual caring. Sophie had visited Damascus only three months before the civil war broke out in Syria, and both her father and stepmother had been refugees - somehow donating money through a website didn’t seem like enough. She wanted to do something to help, ''I realized that if my friends and I shared a sense of powerlessness, we probably also shared something more positive: a desire to do something about it.''
But how do you ask people who have busy lives and sometimes small budgets to give time and money? You design the kinds of events you yourself would make time (and money) for, and use them to raise money to combat news headlines that drive you crazy.
''For our first fun-raiser, I asked a supermarket to donate the ingredients so that we could cook a Syrian mezze for fifty people; a party equipment rental company to lend us tables, glasses, plates, napkins, tablecloths and chairs, at no charge; an acquaintance to open up her magazine-worthy apartment; and friends to help me cook for 3 days (one of whom chopped 80 onions). We raised almost CD$7,000.00 for Doctors Without Borders Canada for their work in Syria, thanks to a donor who matched our funds.''
Since then, WeDoSomething Montreal has supported refugees and asylum seekers, the indigenous community, hurricane victims, Montreal's hungry. We've worked to combat the ongoing indigenous suicide crisis, to support those with depression and anxiety disorders, and more. Fun does good.