If you're one of the many people interested in refugee settlement, there are many ways to help.
More than 250 refugees have settled in Kingston since the fall of 2015 and more continue to join our community. Over 50 local organizations have supported these privately- and government sponsored refugees from Syria and other parts of the world. Hundreds of community members have volunteered their time to welcome these men, women and children to the region. If you and/or an organization or group you are involved with would like to help, here are some ideas:
Make a financial donation
The City, in partnership with the United Way KFL&A, KEYS Job Centre and Kingston Community Health Centres has set up the Community Refugee Relief Fund. The fund helps cover expenses not covered through other funding services including dental care, employment certifications, medical devices and interpretation services.
Contributions can be made at:
- United Way KFL&A website
- the United Way office at 417 Bagot St. Kingston, Ontario
- the payment centre in City Hall, 216 Ontario Street, Kingston, Ontario
- administration Desk, County of Frontenac, 2069 Battersea Road, Glenburnie, Ontario
- front desk, County of Lennox & Addington, 97 Thomas St. E., Napanee, Ontario
Donations should be clearly marked "Refugee Relief". Tax receipts will be mailed for donations of $20 or more. The United Way administers the fund with no administrative fee and an advisory refugee committee oversees the distribution of the funds.
Sponsor a family
- For general information about the federal government's private sponsorship of refugees program visit their website.
- For local information and supports in sponsoring refugees, contact Kingston Community Health Centre's Immigrant services at firstname.lastname@example.org or 613-544-4661.
Donate your time
Community members can donate their time to help refugees. You can help in many ways:
- Email email@example.com or call 613-546-5559 to join the KEYS volunteer list
- Lead a team of volunteers matched to a newcomer family: coordinate schedules, delegate tasks and liaise with Resettlement Staff.
- Join a team of volunteers matched to a newcomer family: help with shopping, errands, connecting to the community, socializing, learning English and more.
- Interpret! Do you speak Arabic? Kurdish? Kirundi? You can help newcomers bridge to the community.
- Provide childminding for our youngest newcomers.
- Help with housing search & set-up, managing donations or other ad-hoc activities.
Newly arrived refugees will be looking for paid employment in order to support their families and connect with their new community. KEYS Job Centre is looking for Kingston-area employers who can provide supportive and flexible work opportunities to newcomers, who will have varied skill sets and needs. Contact KEYS today for more information or if you have an opportunity to fill.
Donate clothing and household items
Every refugee family's needs will be different and we do not yet know how many families may settle here. and we are not organizing a drive for specific items at this time. As always, thrift stores would welcome your donations to help all in need.