Spin the globe. Halfway around the world sits a refugee family dreaming of a better, safer life.
Spin the globe again. People from 11 parishes in the archdeaconry of Fredericton are collecting furniture and housewares to fill that family’s apartment here.
At this point, neither knows anything specific about the other, nor do they know when they will finally meet and start working together on the transition to a new life in Canada.
Having met its self-imposed national target of 25,000 Syrian refugees by the end of February, the federal government has slowed its processing of refugee applicants. This is frustrating for potential sponsors. Patience and prayer will be needed in the coming months until a match is made.
While waiting for the bureaucracy to grind its wheels, committee members are raising funds (as of May 1st, donations now stand at $20,030.83), researching apartment prices, finding Arabic interpreters, looking for a doctor and dentist, learning which foods will be needed in a Syrian pantry, getting cross-cultural training, and so on.
Parishioners have asked how they can help the family. Some donations have already arrived and are being stored in the basement of Cathedral Memorial Hall, such as area rugs, desk, bed, floor lamp, coffee table, toaster oven, coffee maker, bedding, sets of cutlery and dishes, coat hangers, and much more.
One parish offered to supply everything needed to outfit a bathroom as well as all the personal supplies.
As the exact composition of the family is unknown, some questions cannot be answered now. Will we need bunk beds? A crib? Dolls and art supplies for wee ones?
Curtains or blinds will be needed, but what size will the windows be in the apartment to be rented later? Some items will just have to wait!
However, here is a list of things most likely required. If you can donate any of these items (clean, in good condition and in working order, please), e-mail Doug Milander and Ann Deveau <amdrm at nbnet.nb.ca> or call (506) 455-3299.
Drop-off and/or pick-up dates can be arranged later this spring. Your support is greatly appreciated.
As of 10 June …
LIVING ROOM – modern TV (not the heavy, old, tube-type)
BEDROOMS – mattress and boxspring for a single bed, mattress and boxspring for a 54-inch bed, 3 waste baskets
DINING/KITCHEN – 4 kitchen chairs, hand mixer, muffin tin
MISCELLANEOUS – chair for computer desk, radio, alarm clock, wall clock, paper/pens/pencils, 3 umbrellas, combs and brushes
HOUSEHOLD SUPPLIES – broom and dustpan, sponge mop, bucket, laundry detergent, cleaning rags, cleanser, toilet paper, paper napkins, recycling bin, freezer bags, garbage bags