We have started to receive many calls, emails and messages on social media from community members about how they can help support Syrian refugee resettlement efforts in The Greater Toronto Area. So we put together this list of options on how you can help.
This is by no means the only ways you can help support Syrian refugee resettlement efforts, it’s just meant to be a starting point to learn more about the opportunities that are available to you. As we learn about new opportunities, we’ll update this list accordingly.
From grass roots initiatives to registered charities, here’s your options for donating clothing to incoming Syrian refugees in the GTA.
- New Circles has opened its doors to welcome Syrian refugees arriving in the GTA. Working with Lifeline Syria and other refugee-serving agencies, New Circles have made a commitment to provide free clothing to the refugees for up to two years. Clothing donations can be dropped off at 161 Bartley Dr. between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Mondays to Wednesdays and Fridays, or between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thursdays. The centre will be closed during the holidays, from Dec. 23 to Jan. 4, 2015.
- The New Mom Project will be accepting baby essentials such as seasonal clothes (from 0-4 years), diapers, wipes, small toys, cribs, strollers and carriers. The New Mom Project schedules drop off dates for donations at a variety of Toronto locations on a regular basis. To donate please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are part of a sponsorship group and would like to request support for a newcomer family please e-mail email@example.com.
- The Clothing Drive – Clothing Drive for Syrian Refugees all started when a member of a Toronto-based group sponsoring a family put a call out on Facebook to help collect winter clothing for the family before their arrival. It has now turned into a volunteer driven initiative to collect gently used clothing across the GTA. The Clothing Drive recently secured a permanent location at 1682 Victoria Park Ave, Scarborough (Strip Mall – sign says Value City) where you can drop off your clothing donations. They also will periodically need volunteer support to help with clothing drive operations. Click here to learn more about The Clothing Drive and express your interest to donate and volunteer.
Donating gently used furniture to Furniture Bank is one way to help the incoming Syrian refugees furnish their homes when they arrive in Canada. Furniture Bank currently serves refugees every day though our existing partnerships with 18 refugee and newcomer focused agencies. We have also partnered with Lifeline Syria to help Syrian newcomer families address their immediate furniture needs.
For a fee, Furniture Bank will send a truck and moving team to your home and remove your furniture and bring it back to our warehouse for refugee clients to choose from. Click here to schedule a pickup online or call 416-934-1229, ext. 2. You can also book an appointment to drop off your furniture to us Monday to Friday between 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at 25 Connell Ct., Unit 1, Etobicoke.
If you are a group sponsoring a family and want to receive furniture and housewares please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once Syrian refugees begin to arrive in the GTA, they will be in need of various settlement supports. These newcomer families will need help finding places to live, work, enrolling children in school, learning English, getting to know their new community and understanding life in Canada. You can volunteer your time with a refugee-serving agency in your community and help assist with these critical settlement programs and services. Click here to find a refugee-serving agency near you.
- Spark Ontario’s Warm Welcome Program connects people with volunteer opportunities to help Syrian refugees settle in and make Ontario home. Click here to find specific volunteer opportunities related to the Syrian refugee welcome and resettlement efforts.
- The Archdiocese of Toronto’s Project Hope Campaign to settle 100 refugee families within the GTA needs volunteer support to sit on various sponsorship committees to help families secure housing, enrol in English classes, search for employment and learn more about the city. Click here to find a refugee sponsorship committee to get involved with or get in touch with them directly at email@example.com or call 647-780-0827.
- The Lifeline Syria Challenge is a collaboration between universities and colleges in the GTA to help sponsor 75 Syrian refugee families or 300 people. This is a great way for students to get involved with a volunteer committee to help support these newcomer families that will be calling Toronto home.
further resources on how you can get involved:
- The City of Toronto’s Refugee Resettlement website
- Lakeshore Syrian Connection (link could be re-established)
- Welcome Ontario Syrian Refugee Assistance Information
- 6 Ways You Can Help Syrian Refugees Settle in Toronto (Global News)
- 5 Ways to Help Syrian Refugees Settle in Canada
Click on the button below to download our guide to getting involved in support of Syrian refugees in Ontario and the GTA. You can use this guide to learn more about the Syrian refugee crisis and find out more details on how you can help the organizations tasked with assisting the 10,000 Syrian refugees coming to Ontario in the next few months. It is an evolving document and we will update it as often as possible. Feel free to make suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org.