The Canadian Iranian Foundation has started a fundraiser to help the families of the victims of the tragedy that claimed the life of 57 Canadians of Iranian origin, seven from the North Shore.
Nassreen Filsoof, the president of the foundation, said they hope to raise $100,000 for the family members of the victims.
“We have a lot of families going back to Iran to identify the bodies, and there are flight and accommodation costs. We want to raise these funds so we can help them in any way possible during this very trying time,” she says.
She said some community members have had to shut down their business so they can fly back to Iran to identify the bodies and to be with friends and family.
“We are all stunned by this tragedy. There is a long road to emotional and psychological healing, so we are hoping the community can help with unexpected expenses that may occur,” she says.
Filsoof says all funds would be distributed evenly to the families of all the victims in Canada. A majority of the victims are in Edmonton and Toronto; as many as seven people from North Shore have also died in the incident.
The tragedy has hit close to home for Filsoof. One of the directors of the Canadian Iranian Foundation, Kimia Porshavan, lost both her parents in the tragedy. She is only 19.
Filsoof said she is hopeful the community would give generously so the families of the victims can be supported, for their present as well as future needs.
The foundation is also providing grief support and counselling from trained counsellors from the community.
Those who want to donate in person can also do so at the John Braithwaite Community Centre, where the foundation has an office. The administrator of the office, Khodoarahm Bakshandeh, will be available four days a week, Monday to Thursday, from 11 am to 2 pm.
The foundations will also accept donations through e-transfer at email@example.com.