While some people are asking how the federal government will resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees in one month, other people are asking how they can help when the refugees arrive.
The Saskatchewan Association of Immigrant Settlement and Integration Agencies (SAISIA) has set up an online hub to direct people to the organizations involved in helping refugees in each community.
There are still no public details about exactly how many refugees will be coming to Saskatchewan, but some groups are already collecting donations to help when they get here.
Facebook groups are popping up in several cities to help organize donations of clothing and furniture for Syrian refugees.
Sommer Amare set up a Facebook group called I Will Help – Moose Jaw and she says the response has been amazing.
“It’s been so overwhelming, it’s been so wonderful to see – it just exploded overnight,” she said on Friday. “At first it was just friends who were signing up and then it was friends of friends, and now it just feels like the whole community has come out and is excited about all the chances they can bring to the table to help in different ways.”
Amare says she and her sister felt helpless watching the videos of organizations helping refugees who were in desperate need when they landed in places like Greece. They wanted to find a way to help the cause on the local front.
Amare says she has been in contact with the Moose Jaw Multicultural Council and Newcomer Welcome Centre which are preparing to help settle refugees in the community. She says once they learn more details about how many families are coming and where they will stay, it will be easier to organize food and clothing drives.
“I feel they need our help because they’ve got nothing. I think if you’ve ever been in a position where you’ve been really vulnerable and people have helped you, you never forget that,” she said.
A local pub in Regina is also stepping up to help refugees. The Fat Badger has put out a call on Facebook about collecting donations of warm clothing and furniture.
The Regina Open Door Society is also asking for help online. The settlement agency already provides more than 50 services to refugees and immigrants ranging from housing to healthcare, education, employment and language classes.
You can find more information about helping with affordable housing, employment, healthcare services, volunteering or donating funds on the RODS website.