Refugees: citizen initiatives and donations multiply

yasmine-abdelfadel-decide-lundi-soir“People provide housing, clothing. Retired teachers offer homework help, Syrians want to do the translation. Everyone wants to contribute and be part of this historic moment, “said Sylvain Thibault.

In his office of the Issue Table of organizations serving refugees and immigrants, the phone does not stop ringing for days. His inbox is overflowing. Among the offers of donations of all kinds are also found messages from some people who have already taken things well in hand. Citizens’ initiatives are multiplying.

This is the case of Yasmine Abdelfadel which decided Monday night, after discussing with her parents, she launched a project to host baskets. The concept reminds baskets offered spontaneously to new neighbors who arrive in the neighborhood. But although hot pies and homemade jams are replaced by packets of diapers and school supplies.

“Things that people do not think to give when there are collections,” says the young woman, still surprised with the response to the Facebook page of his welcome baskets Operation. Such an answer she came into contact with the Working Table for aid logistics. What it has.

“We will make custom baskets, according to the family to which they are intended. ”

Other emerging citizen initiatives. Collection of furniture or clothes, says Sylvain Thibault, or action to this charming small Syrians. “A lady picking up stuffed animals, says Sylvain Thibault. She wants to have between 600 and 900 for each child who arrives in Quebec is one. ”

Agencies waiting

For now, people who want to do specifically for Syrian refugees donations can do so through citizen initiatives that appear on social networks or by contacting groups such as the Table de concertation organizations serving people refugees or immigrants.

However, most community organizations are waiting.

The Canadian Red Cross has opened a few months ago, a fund for Syrian refugees, but it expects the government announcements to launch local initiatives that serve refugees upon their arrival in Canada and Quebec. Carl Boisvert, spokeswoman for the Red Cross in Quebec, advises people who want to contribute to the home of refugees here to wait for specific campaigns are put in place.

As we approach the holiday season guignolées, does there not a risk of cannibalizing gifts?

Should be that people are particularly generous during the Christmas collection this year, believes the spokesperson of the Society of Saint Vincent Paul, Marie-Ève ​​Allaire. The agency would thus have a fund that will go beyond Christmas and will help refugees in need, upon arrival.

Good to know: the 30 stores of the Society of Saint Vincent Paul are open to everyone, said Marie-Ève ​​Allaire, who adds that there are finds to do there. The sales revenues are buying goods for local food banks. At Moisson Montreal, it indicates that there is no specific collection projects to accommodate refugees in food banks in the region.

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