Volunteers continue to donate, help Syrian refugees

Volunteers continue to work in New Brunswick to help provide Syrian refugees with the items they need for a new start.

Funds from the Restore Hope clothing drive benefit two groups

Clothing and furniture drives continue to assist Syrian refugees (Matthew Bingley/CBC)

Volunteers continue to work in New Brunswick to help provide Syrian refugees with what they need for a new start.

Three Restore Hope clothing drives were held in Saint John, Moncton, and Fredericton over the weekend. They were spearheaded by the New Brunswick Association for Community Living.

Despite the constant request for aid, community members are not getting tired of helping.

Gary and Noreen Seely donated a suit worn just once by their son.  They hope it will help some Syrian refugee look his best when he is job hunting.

"I think that people who have much should give a little of what they have to people that don't have very much," said Gary Seely.

Proceeds from the clothing drive will be split between NBACL and multicultural associations in the three cities. Andrea Winchester, a transition facilitator with NBACL said the donated items are sold to Value Village by the pound.

"[The proceeds] will support Syrian newcomers to help get settled into their new home and also New Brunswickers with an intellectual disability," said Winchester.

Those still interested in donating can contact NBACL to arrange for pick-up.

Meanwhile, at a furniture drive in Saint John, Lancaster Baptist Church pastor Wayne Murphy said the concern of donor fatigue has come and gone.

"I had a guy in today and he brought in stuff and this was the first time he'd even heard we were doing it. And so he said I'll be back again," said Murphy.

The previous furniture drives have helped furnish new homes for Syrian refugees. Murphy says he is hoping the spirit to help continues as another 20 to 24 Syrian families are set to arrive in the coming weeks.


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