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Drop-off centre for donations to Syrian refugees to open Saturday

HALIFAX – Nova Scotians looking to donate items to the incoming Syrian refugees can start heading to Bayer’s Lake this weekend, as a major donation drop-off site is being set up at the former Rona.

The drop-off centre, which will open on Saturday, is located at 350 Horseshoe Lake Drive.

“As co-owners of this building, Armco and Rank are grateful to be able to provide any help we can to the families that are coming to Nova Scotia so that they can begin building their lives in Canada,” said George Armoyan Jr, building co-owner. His parents immigrated to Canada from Syria.

READ MORE: More than money needed to help Nova Scotia-bound Syrian refugees

In an announcement on Thursday, immigration minister Lena Diab said the province has offered to resettle 1,500 refugees.

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“The generosity of Nova Scotians has been amazing,” Diab said.

She also said that since the 211 phone line was set up on Nov. 17, they have received 2,123 calls, emails and voice messages from people offering support.

Those who called from outside the Halifax area will receive an email or voice mail telling them how they can drop off their donations.

“Nova Scotians are giving whatever they can, from a five dollar bill in a card to the premier’s office to the generous donation of a building from Armco Capital and Rank Inc.,” Diab said.

“This willingness to help others is what makes me proud to be Nova Scotian.”

Organizers of the Syrian refugee initiative say their list of donation items has narrowed, but they still need of the following items:

  • Winter outerwear and footwear
  • Warm sweaters and socks
  • Children’s clothes
  • New backpacks with school supplies
  • Toys and baby gear
  • Specific types of furniture and household items

For more detailed information on what you can donate, visit http://novascotia.ca/refugeeresponse/.

The drop-off centre will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from Saturday, Dec. 12 to Tuesday, Dec. 22 when it will close for Christmas. It will reopen on Tuesday, Dec. 29.

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The total number of refugees the province will receive over the next few months is still unknown.