The annual garage sale organized by the BU/CRC Refugee Student Sponsorship Committee will be taking place this coming Saturday, May 5, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the W.B. Scott Arena on the Bishop’s Campus. “It is our biggest fundraiser of the year and it has been for about ten or fifteen years,” said organizing committee member Lissa McRae, noting that the group’s runner-up fundraiser, the annual used book sale at Lennoxville United Church, doesn’t come close to the same level in terms of money raised.Put together, however, the two events make up the lion’s share of the money needed to support the work of the Refugee Sponsorship program throughout the year. “All of this is to support the resettlement of refugee youth who would never have had access to post secondary education otherwise,” said Mary Purkey, another member of the group, underlining the fact that the project is not providing short-term scholarships but access to permanent residency for Students fleeing their home countries. Purkey said that after attending Champlain College or Bishop’s, the students remain in Canada, often becoming full citizens and developing productive lives in the country. Although the cost of tuition and a room in residence is covered by the schools, Purkey and McRae explained that there are a great many costs to living, even as a student, that need to be covered in order to support people who come to Canada with next to nothing. Everything from winter clothing to school supplies needs to be taken into account, and that is where the funds raised by the group go every year. Exceptionally, the Bishop’s and Champlain-based sponsorship program also makes the effort to pay the significant airfare costs of their refugee students, something they have no legal requirement to do. “It’s really critical” Purkey said, pointing out that otherwise refugees are left to pay for the bill, which can be several thousand dollars, themselves. See full story in the Thursday, May 3rd edition of The Record.