Near the end of July, the Moose Jaw Multicultural Council reached out to the community through Facebook for donations of furniture, for a newly settled family, and Moose Jaw came through immediately.
Tyler Bastedo, community connections coordinator at the MJMC, said this is a pretty normal response from Moose Jaw when special donation requests come around.
“We usually get a pretty good response from the community when we ask for assistance, it's fantastic,” said Bastedo. “The community usually comes together pretty good for our new arrivals.”
Larger items — like furniture or bicycles, for example — aren’t something that the MJMC can store in their donations space, which means they only request those kinds of donations for families that have come to them with an immediate need.
The MJMC takes donations of smaller items more regularly, such as clothes, household items, or personal hygiene items — things that someone might need immediately upon arriving in the community.
Bastedo said there’s not usually a shortage of anything, thanks to the ongoing generosity of the community. Actually, he said it’s best to call the Newcomer Welcome Centre ahead of dropping things off, in case they’re overstocked and your donation could be better appreciated by another organization.
The MJMC usually settles several families each year, after being given around a month prior to their arrival to make the necessary arrangements.
For the most part, the Newcomer Welcome Centre has what’s needed to get families settled.
Right now, they’re looking forward to everyone’s favourite season: winter. Warm, winter clothing is something the MJMC goes through pretty steadily each year, as many newcomers aren’t prepared for the extreme Canadian cold when they arrive.
So although it’s still August, the Newcomer Centre is already welcoming donations of winter clothing with open arms in preparation for the weather to come.
Donations can be dropped off at the Newcomer Welcome Centre anytime during business hours, Monday to Friday, and Bastedo encourages people to call them at 1 (306) 692-6892 if they have questions about what to donate.