Shaima Jaff, participant in the 2020 Shoe Project, Vancouver

COVID Across Canada: Short Takes

April 28, 2020

In November 2019, The Shoe Project participants in Vancouver joined writers Caroline Adderson and Carol Shaben for a Thanksgiving dinner to introduce immigrant writers to Canadian writers.

After dinner we shared our stories. I talked about my sister. “She’s a single mom, from Kurdistan/Iraq. She has been in a refugee camp in Jordan with her two small boys for 14 months. I’d like to bring her here.” I didn’t even finish talking when Carol asked the group, “How can we help Shaima?”

From that dinner, a smaller group formed and began a letter-writing campaign to raise funds. But after a few weeks, COVID-19 hit. I panicked. “Who’s going to help during this difficult time?”

I was wrong.

Carol called to say, “No matter what, we’re not stopping.”

We sent out another batch of letters. People responded with even more generosity. As of today, we have collected $25,450.21 toward our goal of $28,000, as well as many kind messages.

Canadian writers don’t just write books. They have wonderful hearts.