Calgary donations to Syrian refugees overwhelm organizers
About 180 volunteers have been sorting and distributing donations to Syrian refugees from a Calgary warehouse
Organizers of a Syrian refugee donation campaign say the response by Calgarians has been so great, that helping other refugees is now possible.
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"We are very full on clothes though, no more clothes," Liz Jomaa said.
Jomaa is one of about 180 volunteers who have been working non-stop since Saturday collecting, sorting and distributing donated items to Syrian refugee families.
"I am so proud. Everyone has stepped up," she said.
"It has just been amazing, it has blown my mind how many people have donated, volunteered."
She said while they have more than enough clothing, there is still an ongoing need for furniture, bedding, tables, couches and household items.
George Nachef is one of those Syrians benefiting from the generosity.
"The treatment from the Canadian people and all the welcome, it is overwhelming," George said through his Calgarian brother Jack Nachef who translated.
"I feel like home here," he said.
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The response has been so overwhelming that the warehouse in Vista Heights has enough donations to help refugee families from other countries as well.
A family of four from the African country of Eritrea were able to get furniture and some toys for their two young children.
Organizer Jomaa says donations have been pouring in from Calgarians of all walks of life.
"Doctors, lawyers, everybody is pitching in to help as much as they can," Jomaa said.
"It's been great."
George Nachef, meanwhile, says the generosity Calgarians have shown toward his family, his wife and 12-year-old son, will help them settle in and begin a life without bombs and missiles.
"It is nice to see this type of service for people like me, this will give me a great push in Calgary so I can focus on other stuff, look after a job and make it easier for me to live in Calgary and move on with my life," he said.
The volunteer group has the warehouse for three months and will reassess at that time whether it needs it for longer.
Jomaa says the response to the call for donations, has been far more than they expected.
"Unbelievable. It is blowing my mind," Jomaa said.
"In 3 days … we have already helped more than 20 families that have come through … I am so proud to be a Calgarian right now."
Calgarians wanting to donate, volunteer or help can get up to date information from the group's Facebook page.