AHUNTSIC-CARTIERVILLE – In the basement of St. Rita’s Church, volunteers of the Scalabrini Centre for Refugees and Immigrants are busy organizing piles of clothes, furniture and household items for families in need.
For 15 years, the centre has been helping immigrants and refugees who come to Montreal adapt and settle into Quebec society.
The centre relies solely on donations and offers refugees services like legal aid, language courses and donations of clothing and furniture.
When the officials with the centre found out Syrian refugees were going to be resettling in the city, they said they knew they needed to help.
“We had Collège de Rosemont, Collège Ahuntsic, École Fernand-Seguin, Centre des femmes solidaires et engagées and also the citizens in general,” said Rosaria Monaco, President of Scalabrini Centre.
“The world out there in general all started calling and wanted to help us out in one way or another.”
In collaboration with schools and centres in the community, the Scalabrini Centre was able to collect a basement full of items for Syrian families.
All they have to do is come by, fill out a simple form and pick out whatever they need – free of charge.
“We help everybody,” said Miguel Arévalo, General Manager of Scalabrini Centre.
“We don’t speak about the religion or the country. We give what they need.”
The centre said refugees can drop by until Jan. 22, but if they continue receiving donations, they’ll extend that date until everything is distributed.
“As we can see, the phenomenon of migration is going on and on,” said Monaco.
“If we want to be one family in this world, well then we’re going to have to learn how to share.”
© 2016 Shaw Media