Manitoba

Brandon churches band together to help settle Syrian family of 9

A group of churches in Brandon, Man. are preparing to welcome a Syrian family of nine to the Wheat City in the near future.

Neighbours 2 Newcomers seeking donations of household items and money

The Alkabar family steps out of the Winnipeg airport on Dec. 19, 2015, just one of the many families settling in Manitoba.

A group of churches in Brandon, Man. are preparing to welcome a Syrian family of nine to the Wheat City in the near future. 

Neighbours 2 Newcomers, a collaboration of Church of the Resurrection, First Christian Reformed, Grace Mennonite and the Richmond Park Mennonite Brethren Church, has started collecting donations of money and household items. They will join several other Manitoba organizations that are welcoming some of the country's 25,000 refugees due to arrive by the end of February.

Taralee McMillan is a member of the committee charged with welcoming the family to Brandon.

"We know that it's a mother and a father and seven children, six boys and one girl," McMillan told CBC News. "There are two four year olds and they go up to a 17 year old." 

McMillan said she isn't sure when the family is arriving yet, but has been told it could be anywhere from 10 days to several months from now. Right now, she said, they are focused on collecting everything the family will need in their new house as fast as possible.

"We have located a five-bedroom house that requires some small renovations," she said. "It's really a perfect set up for them." 

A list of what the organization still needs for the family can be found on the Neighbours 2 Newcomers Facebook page.

Monetary donations are also being collected to help the family with some of the expenses they will face when they first arrive in Brandon. 

"We've had lots of people that are just excited that something is being done and asking for way for help," McMillan added. 

Asked if this could be the first of many families the group helps bring into Brandon, "that is definitely my hope and dream and the hopes and dreams of many people that I'm working with," McMillan said. 

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