The Canadian Red Cross Restoring Family Links program remains a success

Topics: Finding Family
January 22, 2014

Canadian Red Cross's Restoring Family Links program remains a success

The Canadian Red Cross is one of Canada's largest charity organizations. A significant part of the Canadian Red Cross' efforts to help those in need is focused on bringing together families that have been separated and displaced by conflict or disasters around the world. Both at home and abroad, the Canadian Red Cross has made finding family a priority, and the Restoring Family Links program is a testament to this.

More than 100 years of commitment
For more than 100 years, the Canadian Red Cross has made reuniting families part of its humanitarian effort - from the Halifax explosions of 1917 to POW exchange during the Korean conflict. Today, hundreds of thousands of individuals go missing each year as the result of conflict, migration or natural disasters, making the Restoring Family Links program more important than ever.

With the assistance of 187 Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies around the world, Restoring Family Links program works to reunite people with their loved ones. Recently, the program brought together a father and his daughters, who were separated for more than 53 years.

Reunited after more than half a century
Vernon Milford Wilson's wife, Pat, had been trying to help her husband get in touch with his lost family for a decade before a co-worker recommended the assistance of the Canadian Red Cross. With the help of a Restoring Family Links coordinator and the Australian Red Cross, Pat was able to track down Vernon's three daughters, who were living in Australia and New Zealand.

The daughters had reached out to the Canadian Embassy 30 years earlier in an effort to find their father, but with no results. They even tried calling every Vernon Wilson they could find in the Vancouver area. The women assumed their father had passed away, ending their search. That's when the first emails and calls came in.

After weeks of communication, Vernon's daughters came to visit him in Vancouver. For three weeks, the family shared stories, grew closer and reconnected as they never expected they would again.

"We are so grateful to the Red Cross for finding my husband's family. Restoring Family Links is just amazing," said Pat. 

Contribute to Restoring Family Links
You can be a part of inspirational stories, like Vernon and Pat's, and help bring families together. Donate at your local Canadian Red Cross offices, or head online and make your contribution today.