The Alahmad family, Edith and Dieter Schwarz and Lucy and Patrick McStravick hard at work filling sandbags. (Contributed)

The Alahmad family, Edith and Dieter Schwarz and Lucy and Patrick McStravick hard at work filling sandbags. (Contributed)

Refugee family assists former hosts in effort to stop rising water of Shuswap Lake

Alahmad family spend morning filling sandbags to help protect residences

Spending a day filling sandbags was an expression of gratitude from the Alahmad family, who sought to help protect the home of their former Salmon Arm hosts from the rising water of Shuswap Lake.

On Wednesday morning, June 3, Faysal and Rima Alahmad and kids Sidra, Saraya and Mohammed were at the 50th Street NE access to the Canoe wharf, loading sandbags for Lucy and Patrick McStravick and other residents with homes along the lake on 75th Ave. NE.

A bagging system created by one of the residents, Russ Tompkins, helped to hasten the effort.

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The Alahmads, a Syrian refugee family, arrived in Salmon Arm on October 9, sponsored by the St John the Evangelist Anglican Church. Friend and 75th Ave. NE resident Sue Kershaw explained the Alahmad’s stayed for 10 days with family in Salmon Arm, under crowded circumstances, before the McStravicks invited the family to stay with them.

Fortunately, said Kershaw, the Alahmad family support team found a rental for them to move into on Nov. 1.

“Today, the Alahmads were very happy to be able to “give back” in a small way the assistance the McStravicks so generously offered them last October,” said Kershaw in a June 3 email, adding she received a text from Saraya later in the day stating, “I love to ‘volunteer,’” a word she just learned in her Okanagan College ESL class.

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Mother Rima, Sidra, Saraya, Mohammed and father Faysal Alahmad fill sandbags to help protect the 75th Ave. NE residence of Lucy and Patrick McStravick from the rising waters of Shuswap Lake. The Alahmad’s, a Syrian family sponsored by the St. John Anglican Church, stayed with the McStravicks for a time before finding a place of their own, and were happy to assist their former hosts. (Contributed)

Mother Rima, Sidra, Saraya, Mohammed and father Faysal Alahmad fill sandbags to help protect the 75th Ave. NE residence of Lucy and Patrick McStravick from the rising waters of Shuswap Lake. The Alahmad’s, a Syrian family sponsored by the St. John Anglican Church, stayed with the McStravicks for a time before finding a place of their own, and were happy to assist their former hosts. (Contributed)