As hundreds of thousands of people continue to flee Iraq and Syria, people locally are reaching out.

Elizabeth O'Connor and Richard Wackerlin have been following the migrant crisis closely through the news and are determined to help.

“I’ve been really troubled by the number of people displace and the plight of conditions. There must be something we can do to help.”

They are among a group of 50 in the Midland area that are planning to raise money in order to sponsor one Syrian refugee family and bring them to the region. They are working closely with a group called Aura, which specializes in refugee applications.

“In essence the goal is to help them from being hopeless to becoming Canadians.”

It’s images of desperation and devastation that has spurred several sponsorship campaigns. On Tuesday, the Archdiocese of Toronto pledge to sponsor 100 families and bring them to Canada.

The archdiocese will have to raise $3-million among its parishes from the GTA to Georgian Bay. The diocese hopes to raise the money over the next 100 days and the archbishop is appealing to everyone for help.

“I'm inviting the catholic community and all people of goodwill to financially support those who are fleeing war violence and persecution,” says Dr. Martin Mark, of the archdiocese.

The archdiocese has already relocated more than 2,500 refugees since 2009 – many from Syria and Iraq.

In Barrie, St. John Vianney Church is beginning the work to sponsor one family, so too is the mayor.

Jeff Lehman is the latest Canadian mayor to start a crowdfunding campaign this weekend. The goal is to raise $27,000 in order to bring and support one Syrian family in Barrie.

“Some of the photos that have come out of there in the last week have galvanized the world to act. I felt sponsoring a family was the best way to get involved.”

It can take up to one year for refugees to arrive in Canada after the paper work has been processed and approved. For that reason many people involved with the various campaigns say time is of the essence and are hoping to quickly raise the money needed to sponsor a family.