People in Smithers are coming together to help raise money to send a boy and his sister to Chile to say a final goodbye to their late grandmother.
Eighteen-year-old Satsi and her 16-year-old brother Nenli Naziel currently live in Prince George and attend Prince George Secondary School.
Their mother recently travelled back to Temuco, Chile to spend time with her mother who was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
“They met [their grandmother] when they were quite small, but they were able to Skype with her quite a few times in recent years,” said their father Warner.
Unfortunately, she passed away recently.
“It’s been really hard on a lot of people because their grandmother had come up here a few years ago when Satsi was born. She spent about a month here and got really close with a lot of family members,” said Warner.
Since then, family members in Smithers have organized a series of events to raise enough money to send the duo back to Chile.
“Their grandmother had hoped to see her grandchildren and that was one of her final wishes,” said Lillian Wilson, a family member. “As a way to honour her wishes, we’re still doing the fundraiser, the kids are still going to Chile so they can spend some time with their other relatives and get their closure from their grandmother’s passing.”
Roughly two dozen people attended a concert at the Old Church organized by Nenli’s relatives Sa-yez and Simb’iyez Wilson, two weeks ago.
“We’ve had a lot of donations even before the event happened. There have been a lot of supportive people,” said Simb’iyez
The next day, a breakfast and craft fair was held in Moricetown as well.
“They’re both honour roll students, they’re on the principal’s list. They just need help to get to Chile,” said Lillian.
So far, they have raised $1,000 from the concert and roughly $600 from the breakfast and craft fair.
There was also an online Facebook auction where people bid on items such as paintings, jewelry, a Trevor Linden jersey, clothing and accessories.
Warner said he was deeply touched by the outpouring from the community to help his family during such an emotional time. “It’s really touching, it’s amazing,” he said. “If there was something more than ‘thank you’, I would use them right now. I’m really touched by it.”