Clothes, household goods donated for Syrian refugees
Collection drive raises $10K in Saint John, Moncton, Fredericton
New Brunswickers have donated thousands of bags of clothing and household goods for Syrian refugees arriving in the province, according to the managing director of the New Brunswick Multicultural Council.
The items were collected in Fredericton, Moncton and Saint John on Dec. 12.
Alex LeBlanc, the managing director of the multicultural council, said the group is pleased with the amount of donations received so far.
"There's been a huge support from community partners and cities, the provincial government — so there's a lot of resources to leverage right now, which is great," said LeBlanc.
For every bag of clothing donated in each city, the New Brunswick Association for Community Living gave $3 to the Multicultural Association of Fredericton, the Multicultural Association of the Greater Moncton Area and the Saint John YMCA.
That raised about $10,000, said LeBlanc.
In addition, Value Village is going to give a store credit of $300 for each Syrian newcomer.
LeBlanc said they will be able to use the credits in early January, but the exact time has yet to be determined.
MCAF, MAGMA and the Saint John Y are looking after local logistics such as housing, and registering for school and health services.
The house is on Odell Avenue, and right across the street from the MCAF office.
Newcomer Syrian families will stay there for five to seven days before moving to more permanent lodgings, said Lisa Bamford de Gante, MCAF executive director.
"Families will arrive, often at night, tired, in an unfamiliar city. In those first few days, while they get their bearings, they will have easy access to the MCAF and people that speak the same language right across the street.
"That will make a difference in helping them feel more comfortable," she said in a news release.
The only cost to the city will be a modest increase in the utility bill, said Woodside.
"So it's something we could offer at a low cost while providing a big benefit to people in need," he said.
The city said it will also be providing a vacant storage depot for furniture donations in the Vanier Industrial Park.