The December 12 Syrian Refugee Clothing Drive: How It Works

Posted in: NBACL Blog, Uncategorized

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Imagine arriving somewhere with little more than the clothes on your back and a few precious personal possessions. You don’t know anyone and you don’t speak the language. And you need things, like clothes. You know people in your new home have given generously to help you, and in your mind you’re wondering how you and your family are going to sort through the many donated items to find the things you need, and maybe even like.

In New Brunswick, that’s where we come in: the NB Multicultural Council, the NB Association for Community Living (NBACL), and Value Village.

How, and Why, Value Village?

Because Value Village is a different kind of business. Yes, it buys and sells clothing and other items, but the “stock” that the store sells doesn’t come from a typical wholesaler, it comes from you, through non-profit organizations like us, the New Brunswick Association for Community Living.

Through our Community Collection program, NBACL gathers your donations and is paid for them by Value Village. All the money we earn this way is used to help people who have an intellectual disability, by providing the support they require to be fully included in their communities. People right here in New Brunswick. People who need help and would otherwise not receive it. Family support is one of the many services we offer with the funds generated from our Community Collection.

Value Village also employs people with an intellectual disability, giving them meaningful work and a livelihood and helping them be included, contributing members of their community. Like Community Living, they believe that #EveryoneBelongs.

So does the Multicultural Council, which is why we’re so pleased and thankful to be partnering with them to support our Syrian newcomers when they arrive.

The Unique Arrangement to Help Newly Arrived Syrian Refugees

Some 1500 Syrian refugees will be arriving in New Brunswick before the end of February 2016, in the dead of winter. They’ll need clothing and footwear that is appropriate for the season, and other things, like linens, housewares, toys for their kids. Things that will help them feel welcome, cared about, respected and included.

That’s why people want to donate clothing, blankets, toys, appliances and so on. And that’s why we want to help the Multicultural Council and its local partners to accept those donations, because, let’s face it, those organizations don’t have the resources or infrastructure to handle all those goods. We do, though, and we’re glad we can help.

This is a win-win. Through the clothing drive on December 12, NBACL will share the proceeds with the local multicultural groups in Fredericton (MCAF), Moncton (MAGMA) and Saint John (YMCA Newcomer Connections). And rather than requiring our newcomers to sift through just the selection of clothing that is donated on Saturday, our drive will allow them to choose whatever they need from a large selection of clothing and other items available at Value Village, FOR FREE.

This may sound “administrative,” but it’s also organized, and we all need to work together and be organized to give our new citizens the best possible first experience here in New Brunswick.

We are proud of the efforts of the many volunteers and staff who are eager to help our newcomers, and we, and our partners at the Multicultural Council, are happy to answer any questions that people may have about how we do what we do, now and at any time in the future.

Please join us in offering the best welcome we have to give in New Brunswick.

#RestoreHope #WelcomeRefugees #EveryoneBelongs

A Reminder: How can you give tomorrow in your city?

Donations of gently used clothing, footwear, linens and small household items will be accepted from 9 am to 3 pm on Saturday, December 12, as follows:

In Fredericton

At the NBACL offices, 800 Hanwell Road.

In Moncton

At the New Brunswick Community College, 1234 Mountain Road.

In Saint John

At the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, 727 Rothesay Avenue.

Donors should note that furniture and mattresses cannot be accepted at the Fredericton and Moncton drop-off locations. No mattresses in Saint John, either, please!

For more information about donating to this drive, please contact the New Brunswick Association for Community Living at 1-866-NBACL4U.

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