Help Hesam Escape LGBTQ+ Persecution and Start a New Life in Canada

At a time when it can seem that there is so much that we cannot control, you can make a real difference in someone’s life now. Help bring Hesam to Canada, where he will be free to be who he is, and where LOVE IS LOVE.

With global attention on the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be easy to forget that other pressing issues such as the refugee crisis, are still ongoing. Not only that, but they've been escalated by the pandemic as borders have intensified their regulations and delayed visa processing worldwide.

For refugees, this can prove detrimental and even fatal — especially in places where hate crimes are on the rise. And it may come as a shock to North Americans to hear that more than 70 countries still criminalize same sex relationships — punishable in 12 by death. To improve their quality of life and avoid discrimination, LGBTQ+ individuals are seeking refugee status in countries where they'll be more free to authentically express themselves without the fear of hateful repercussions. 

That's Why Hesam, an Iranian Refugee Stuck Passportless in Turkey, Needs Your Help

Hesam (not his real name to protect his identity) is a caring, artistic, young gay man who fled his home country of Iran and has been stuck living as a refugee in Turkey for the past five years. As one of millions of refugees in the country, Hesam's options are severely limited — it's too dangerous for him to return to Iran, and without a passport, he cannot easily seek a safer homebase. With anti-gay sentiments on the rise throughout the country, Turkey is an unsustainable substitute for the violence, intolerance and hate he fled in his previous home. No one should be discriminated against based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or HIV status. Our sponsorship group, "One Love Circle of Hope" is raising funds to bring Hesam to Canada as soon as possible, where he will be free to express himself and live life on his own terms.

Through Rainbow Refugee, We'll Help Hesam Build a New Life

That's where instrumental sponsorship programs such as Rainbow Refugee come in. In partnership with Canada's Federal Government, Rainbow Refugee helps facilitate sponsorships for LGBTQ+ asylum seekers worldwide. Through this program and with your help, One Love Circle of Hope will not only oversee Hesam's smooth arrival in Canada, but we'll also invest in his long-term success. "Sponsorship" here is much more than just monetary; it also means of providing ongoing social support, including opportunities for guidance, community and friendship building, and other forms of essential aid. Hesam has already faced immeasurable uncertainty and risks: we want to help Hesam's transition to a new language and society, so that he truly feels at home as he rebuilds his life once again.

Thank you so much for your support so far. We have met our first goal of raising $18,000 which has allowed us to start the application process, but we'll need to hit our target of at least $25,000 to ensure Hesam will have the support he needs throughout this transition. This will help support Hesam throughout the one-year application legal process. Once here, the remaining funds will aid in securing his accommodations, and providing him with clothing, food, transportation, and other forms of necessary assistance.

Please help us bring Hesam safely to Canada. Any donation will be appreciated and will make a big difference. If you can't donate, please consider sharing this with your networks. Thank you in advance for your support!

146 supporters view all

$21,462 raised of $25,000 goal

8 months, 1 week to go
Fundraiser Ends Sept. 25, 2021
Date Donor Name Charity Name Amount
Jan. 16, 2021, 10:32 p.m. Todd Hoye Rainbow Refugee $195.00
House of Lola Event Proceeds (1181)
Jan. 13, 2021, 10:24 a.m. Tyrell Gough Rainbow Refugee $25.00
Jan. 7, 2021, 3:58 p.m. Anonymous Rainbow Refugee $97.55
Dec. 24, 2020, 9:07 p.m. Priya Parekh Rainbow Refugee $15.00
Dec. 21, 2020, 4:39 a.m. Priya Parekh Rainbow Refugee $75.00
All love for Hesam!
Dec. 18, 2020, 9:04 p.m. Jacqueline Adler Rainbow Refugee $250.00
Almost there! Love to Hesam.
Dec. 16, 2020, 7:03 p.m. Jason Kobelka Rainbow Refugee $50.00
Donation on behalf of Jarrod and Silvana V.
Dec. 16, 2020, 7:03 p.m. Jason Kobelka Rainbow Refugee $50.00
Donation on behalf of Lindsay and Justin K.
Dec. 16, 2020, 7:03 p.m. Jason Kobelka Rainbow Refugee $100.00
Best Wishes, Hesam
Dec. 13, 2020, 6:24 p.m. Alexander Hird Rainbow Refugee $1,250.00
Dec. 12, 2020, 12:56 p.m. Anonymous Rainbow Refugee $200.00
Hi Hesam Your story touched my heart! I wish for you a very happy and free life in Canada. Michael
Dec. 8, 2020, 8:57 p.m. Jacqueline Adler Rainbow Refugee $250.00
Grateful for all the generous donations and support. Here is another to assist our Circle of Hope's efforts to bring Hesam to Canada!
Dec. 4, 2020, 3:39 p.m. Kylen Sabey Rainbow Refugee $30.00
All the best to Hesam on his journey to Canada!
Dec. 3, 2020, 11:48 a.m. Jacqueline Adler Rainbow Refugee $250.00
Getting close to our goal! So happy to make another donation to help our Circle bring Hesam to Canada!
Dec. 1, 2020, 9:18 p.m. Michael Ciebin Rainbow Refugee $500.00
Dec. 1, 2020, 8:30 p.m. Anonymous Rainbow Refugee $25.00
Nov. 30, 2020, 10:48 a.m. Rebecca Kerswell Rainbow Refugee $50.00
Nov. 29, 2020, 8:48 p.m. Brittany Morris Rainbow Refugee $50.00
Love from Britt, Jeff and Sabs
Nov. 28, 2020, 6:52 a.m. Dario Meli Rainbow Refugee $2,150.00
Nov. 25, 2020, 11:05 p.m. Danielle Zagar Rainbow Refugee $100.00
Hope this helps you get to Canada!
Nov. 24, 2020, 10:39 p.m. Anonymous Rainbow Refugee $50.00
Nov. 24, 2020, 2:09 p.m. Dan Abrams Rainbow Refugee $50.00
Nov. 24, 2020, 9:52 a.m. Anonymous Rainbow Refugee $25.00
Nov. 24, 2020, 12:17 a.m. Jane Halton Rainbow Refugee $100.00
Nov. 24, 2020, 12:09 a.m. Jessica Robin Rainbow Refugee $50.00
Nov. 23, 2020, 9:15 p.m. Adam Hoffmann Rainbow Refugee $100.00
Nov. 23, 2020, 8:06 p.m. Anonymous Rainbow Refugee $25.00
Nov. 23, 2020, 7:56 p.m. Sheryl Gray Rainbow Refugee $50.00
Nov. 23, 2020, 3:38 p.m. Taylor Copeland Rainbow Refugee $50.00
Nov. 23, 2020, 2:52 p.m. Morris Law Rainbow Refugee $400.00
The team at Morris Law is wishing Hesam all the best on his journey to Canada!
Nov. 23, 2020, 11:34 a.m. Erin O’Neill Rainbow Refugee $25.00
Nov. 20, 2020, 1:21 p.m. Liz Bell Rainbow Refugee $100.00
A helping hand to Hesam.... may he be able to start a new life here in Canada soon. lb xxx
Nov. 19, 2020, 4:44 p.m. Adam Graham Rainbow Refugee $100.00
Nov. 19, 2020, 2:24 p.m. Nicholas Janson Rainbow Refugee $25.00
Nov. 18, 2020, 4:53 p.m. Chase Webb Rainbow Refugee $50.00
<3
Nov. 17, 2020, 6:31 p.m. Oliver Hayden Rainbow Refugee $109.00
Helping you cross the $15k mark! Such a great cause, hope Hesam makes it safely to Canada soon!
Nov. 16, 2020, 6:22 p.m. Emily Wushke Rainbow Refugee $25.00
Nov. 15, 2020, 7:37 p.m. Anonymous Rainbow Refugee $151.00
Nov. 12, 2020, 5:06 p.m. Rory Dubois Rainbow Refugee $50.00
<3
Nov. 10, 2020, 5:46 p.m. Anonymous Rainbow Refugee $25.00
Nov. 10, 2020, 9:14 a.m. Terry DiMonte Rainbow Refugee $100.00
Hope you reach this goal soon in this noble effort. Thanks Jacqueline & Charles
Nov. 9, 2020, 1:58 p.m. Aamer Sroujieh Rainbow Refugee $50.00
Nov. 9, 2020, 12:53 p.m. Louise Mcknight Rainbow Refugee $50.00
While you do not know personally those you support Rainbow Refugee not that you are loved and welcomed. Friends we have not yet met ?? Louise
Nov. 9, 2020, 11:51 a.m. Lyndsay L Rainbow Refugee $50.00
Nov. 8, 2020, 11:22 p.m. Jacqueline Adler Rainbow Refugee $250.00
Over 100 donations! Here is to surpassing the $18,000 mark so Hesam's application process can begin.
Nov. 8, 2020, 11:22 p.m. Jacqueline Adler Rainbow Refugee $250.00
Over 100 donations! Here is to surpassing the $18,000 mark so Hesam's application process can begin.
Nov. 8, 2020, 1:34 a.m. Todd Pappas Rainbow Refugee $200.00
Good on you for creating awareness of a great foundation and cause!
Nov. 7, 2020, 6:31 p.m. Anonymous Rainbow Refugee $50.00
Hesam, we wish you success with all of the exciting things to come!
Nov. 5, 2020, 3:07 p.m. Paula Krawus Rainbow Refugee $100.00
Nov. 5, 2020, 10:54 a.m. Shirley Elias Rainbow Refugee $200.00
Nov. 5, 2020, 12:46 a.m. Anonymous Rainbow Refugee $100.00
Nov. 4, 2020, 3:55 p.m. Ben L Rainbow Refugee $100.00
Canada welcomes you!
Nov. 3, 2020, 4:13 p.m. Haley Cameron Rainbow Refugee $50.00
Nov. 2, 2020, 6:28 p.m. Jhames Almeida Rainbow Refugee $50.00
Thanks for caring for those who need and supporting our community where they need the most. Welcome Hasem.
Oct. 31, 2020, 1:06 p.m. Jesse Copeland Rainbow Refugee $75.00
Oct. 30, 2020, 12:24 a.m. Jacqueline Adler Rainbow Refugee $250.00
We are now half way there!
Oct. 30, 2020, 12:17 a.m. Jacqueline Adler Rainbow Refugee $250.00
Almost half way there!!!
Oct. 29, 2020, 11:38 a.m. Anonymous Rainbow Refugee $250.00
Thank you for all the love and care you have for other people, hope this helps in any way
Oct. 29, 2020, 12:50 a.m. Maximus Media Rainbow Refugee $30.00
Oct. 28, 2020, 8:23 p.m. Lisa & Michelle EWU Rainbow Refugee $50.00
Oct. 28, 2020, 7:02 p.m. Jacqueline Adler Rainbow Refugee $250.00
Love to Hesam!
Oct. 28, 2020, 4:14 p.m. Ryan Guptill Rainbow Refugee $100.00
Oct. 27, 2020, 4:10 p.m. Robin Richards Rainbow Refugee $20.00
Oct. 25, 2020, 7:52 p.m. Anonymous Rainbow Refugee $10.00
It’s little but hope it helps.
Oct. 25, 2020, 1:04 p.m. Anonymous Rainbow Refugee $25.00
Oct. 24, 2020, 12:21 p.m. Ghazaleh Keshavarz Rainbow Refugee $80.00
In the hope of human rights and freedom in Iran ??
Oct. 23, 2020, 12:04 p.m. Anonymous Rainbow Refugee $500.00
Oct. 23, 2020, 9:49 a.m. Stephanie Lee Rainbow Refugee $100.00
So proud of you B! Sending so much love for a beautiful new beginning for Hesam!
Oct. 23, 2020, 3:16 a.m. Agustian Hermanto Rainbow Refugee $200.00
Oct. 22, 2020, 12:20 p.m. Catherine Phan Rainbow Refugee $50.00
Love
Oct. 22, 2020, 10:06 a.m. Nicole Broeckling Rainbow Refugee $100.00
Oct. 22, 2020, 7:39 a.m. Jason V Rainbow Refugee $150.00
Oct. 21, 2020, 8:31 p.m. Lindsey Ard Rainbow Refugee $100.00
Oct. 21, 2020, 4:29 p.m. Shelagh Weekes Rainbow Refugee $55.00
Good luck , such a positive project.
Oct. 21, 2020, 2:51 p.m. Marina Rometsch Rainbow Refugee $100.00
You guys are wonderful humans love Marina & Sean
Oct. 21, 2020, 3:10 a.m. Jesper Annerstedt Rainbow Refugee $5.00
Oct. 21, 2020, 12:04 a.m. Francisco Passuelo Rainbow Refugee $50.00
??
Oct. 20, 2020, 11:11 p.m. jamie layno Rainbow Refugee $200.00
This is amazing B sending love and support to Hesam!
Oct. 20, 2020, 9:26 p.m. Andrew Silaj Rainbow Refugee $50.00
Welcome to Canada!
Oct. 20, 2020, 8:45 p.m. Heather Linka Rainbow Refugee $60.00
Oct. 20, 2020, 8:13 p.m. Cohen Landherr Rainbow Refugee $100.00
Paul and Sid, amazing work guys ! Big kisses Cohen
Oct. 20, 2020, 7:24 p.m. Anonymous Rainbow Refugee $100.00
Sending you love and support!! Xo
Oct. 20, 2020, 2:21 p.m. Jenna Mckenna Rainbow Refugee $100.00
Oct. 20, 2020, 1:31 p.m. Milena Constanda Rainbow Refugee $30.00
Oct. 20, 2020, 12:56 p.m. West Haven Group Rainbow Refugee $150.00
Oct. 20, 2020, 12:37 a.m. Andy von Schellwitz Rainbow Refugee $50.00
???????????
Oct. 19, 2020, 1:39 p.m. Dan Aysan Rainbow Refugee $100.00
Oct. 19, 2020, 12:35 p.m. Tom Chute Rainbow Refugee $100.00
Oct. 19, 2020, 11:12 a.m. Anonymous Rainbow Refugee $50.00
Oct. 19, 2020, 9:54 a.m. Brett Hagardt Rainbow Refugee $50.00
Oct. 19, 2020, 2:13 a.m. JP Villafuerte Rainbow Refugee $100.00
This is so special, B!
Oct. 18, 2020, 10:51 p.m. Robin Richards Rainbow Refugee $50.00
Oct. 18, 2020, 10:25 p.m. Meredith van der Kooy Rainbow Refugee $100.00
Oct. 18, 2020, 8:56 p.m. David Weekes Rainbow Refugee $150.00
Oct. 18, 2020, 8:56 p.m. David Weekes Rainbow Refugee $150.00
??
Oct. 18, 2020, 4:19 p.m. Todd Hoye Rainbow Refugee $100.00
Oct. 18, 2020, 1:47 p.m. Scott McQuade Rainbow Refugee $125.00
Oct. 18, 2020, 1:22 p.m. Dindin Montoya Rainbow Refugee $150.00
Oct. 18, 2020, 1:14 p.m. Paisley Boone Rainbow Refugee $200.00
Such a great cause <3
Oct. 17, 2020, 2:49 p.m. Anonymous Rainbow Refugee $10.00
Oct. 17, 2020, 1:35 p.m. Anonymous Rainbow Refugee $25.00
Oct. 17, 2020, 9:59 a.m. Kelly Bergeron Rainbow Refugee $10.00
Oct. 16, 2020, 11:04 p.m. Anonymous Rainbow Refugee $50.00
Blessings for a smooth transition to Canada. I hope to one day get send you a welcome message.
Oct. 16, 2020, 11:04 p.m. Pamela Kadach Rainbow Refugee $50.00
Oct. 16, 2020, 11:01 p.m. Anonymous Rainbow Refugee $20.00
Oct. 16, 2020, 9:53 p.m. Debbie Seida Rainbow Refugee $15.00
Let's get him to Canada!
Oct. 16, 2020, 4:11 p.m. Carlos Alvarado Rainbow Refugee $20.00
Oct. 16, 2020, 3:50 p.m. Anonymous Rainbow Refugee $500.00
This is so awesome, so glad you're doing this :)
Oct. 16, 2020, 3:12 p.m. Amanda Lehman-Choi Rainbow Refugee $50.00
Oct. 16, 2020, 1:01 p.m. Anonymous Rainbow Refugee $100.00
Oct. 16, 2020, 12:43 p.m. Alejandro & Mejia Rainbow Refugee $100.00
Oct. 16, 2020, 11:27 a.m. Andres Alvarez Rainbow Refugee $150.00
??????
Oct. 16, 2020, 8:22 a.m. Jonathan Ricci Rainbow Refugee $250.00
Oct. 16, 2020, 7:34 a.m. Anonymous Rainbow Refugee $100.00
I hope that you can make your way to Canada very soon to start a new and wonderful life that you deserve.
Oct. 16, 2020, 5:34 a.m. Rachel Mclean Rainbow Refugee $25.00
Oct. 16, 2020, 4:07 a.m. Casey Archibald Rainbow Refugee $50.00
Beautiful initiative!
Oct. 16, 2020, 2:39 a.m. Jadyn Aguilar Martinez Rainbow Refugee $200.00
Oct. 16, 2020, 12:31 a.m. Alec Eger Rainbow Refugee $100.00
Oct. 16, 2020, 12:13 a.m. Tyler Brewer Rainbow Refugee $50.00
Oct. 15, 2020, 11:57 p.m. Rodrigo Arias Rainbow Refugee $100.00
Bring back my gorl!
Oct. 15, 2020, 11:48 p.m. Fatemeh Nejatali Rainbow Refugee $100.00
Oct. 15, 2020, 10:44 p.m. Karon Blandino Rainbow Refugee $100.00
Sending love and support to Hesam! Let’s get him to Canada!!
Oct. 15, 2020, 10:39 p.m. Maxi Garcia Rainbow Refugee $50.00
Oct. 15, 2020, 10:14 p.m. Julia Rocho Rainbow Refugee $100.00
Oct. 15, 2020, 10:12 p.m. Kuo-Chin Shih Rainbow Refugee $100.00
Love that you're doing this!
Oct. 15, 2020, 10:10 p.m. Mathew Mckenzie Rainbow Refugee $100.00
Oct. 15, 2020, 10:08 p.m. Kevin Mazzone Rainbow Refugee $200.00
Oct. 15, 2020, 10:08 p.m. Kieran Morris Rainbow Refugee $200.00
Oct. 15, 2020, 10:05 p.m. Marin Nelson Rainbow Refugee $100.00
Xo
Oct. 15, 2020, 6:56 p.m. Derek & Kate Whyte Rainbow Refugee $100.00
Great initiative Brennan!
Oct. 15, 2020, 6:05 p.m. Jesse Adamson Rainbow Refugee $100.00
Oct. 15, 2020, 5:52 p.m. Ray Khan Rainbow Refugee $100.00
In love with this ??
Oct. 15, 2020, 5:51 p.m. Jason Nanner Rainbow Refugee $250.00
Oct. 15, 2020, 5:26 p.m. Kelly Sherstobitoff Rainbow Refugee $100.00
So proud of you B and the whole team for this initiative. xo
Oct. 15, 2020, 5:05 p.m. Clay Brown Rainbow Refugee $250.00
Can’t wait to bring Hesam to a Sunday afternoon at PumpJack. Thanks for pushing such a great cause Brennan!
Oct. 15, 2020, 3:38 p.m. Georgia Tucker Rainbow Refugee $100.00
Oct. 15, 2020, 3:24 p.m. Scott Lyon Rainbow Refugee $100.00
Oct. 15, 2020, 3:13 p.m. Mario Sosa Rainbow Refugee $100.00
House of Problematica represent.
Oct. 15, 2020, 2:50 p.m. Ernesto Flores Rainbow Refugee $100.00
Gay Rights!
Oct. 15, 2020, 2:47 p.m. Victoria Phan Rainbow Refugee $250.00
Oct. 15, 2020, 2:40 p.m. Nicolette Williams Rainbow Refugee $50.00
Oct. 15, 2020, 1:54 p.m. Aaron Brady Rainbow Refugee $100.00
Oct. 15, 2020, 1:37 p.m. Tiffany Ellis Rainbow Refugee $100.00
Thanks for leading the way to inclusivity! You have all our support for Hesam and his journey to Canada. Xx Tiffany, Calder & Ethan
Oct. 15, 2020, 9:38 a.m. Jacqueline Adler Rainbow Refugee $2,500.00
Sending love to Hesam, Rainbow Refugee, and the One Love Circle of Hope members.
Oct. 8, 2020, 10:16 p.m. Anonymous Rainbow Refugee $150.00
Sept. 25, 2020, 8:14 p.m. Anonymous Rainbow Refugee $50.00