Refugees on the way

Any day now at least two government-sponsored Syrian refugee families will arrive in Red Deer for a fresh start.

Any day now at least two government-sponsored Syrian refugee families will arrive in Red Deer for a fresh start.

Frank Bauer, Central Alberta Refugee Effort executive director, said the agency has received confirmation that two families, possibly three, will arrive before Friday.

The agency is co-ordinating volunteers to help with the Catholic Social Services — Immigration and Settlement refugee program for Red Deer.

One couple has three school-aged children and the other couple has one child, said Bauer.

The families will arrive at the Red Deer Airport from Calgary and stay at a local hotel before they are moved into housing.

An estimated 200 to 210 Syrian refugees are expected to settle in Red Deer.

The agencies are not giving away too many specifics about the arrivals in order to protect the privacy of the families.

Syrian refugees that will eventually call Red Deer home are part of the government’s efforts to settle 25,000 refugees including privately sponsored by the end of February.

Meanwhile C.A.R.E. is accepting donations for the families.

On top of the list are gently used and new household items, winter clothing, new toiletries, new sheets, diapers and jackets.

Red Deer currently receives about 60 refugees per year from around the world. About 25 have come from Syria in the last year and a half.

Catholic Social Services in Red Deer delivers the refugee resettlement program under contract with the federal government.

For more information, call 403-346-8818 or visit www.immigrant-centre.ca or visit www.reddeer.ca and search refugee effort for other ways to help.

crhyno@bprda.wpengine.com