Every day we help newcomers settle and integrate into your community. Some of these newcomers arrive in Ottawa after having lived years in a refugee camp.

As excited as they are to start a new life in Canada, they face many challenges, such as learning a new language, finding a job, and adjusting to Canadian culture.

To help newcomers, we rely on a team of volunteers and many community partners.

One of those partners is IKEA Ottawa.

Recently, IKEA put together more than 200 household kits with a value of more than $33,000. The kit includes: crafting supplies and toys, bathroom towels, bed textiles, dish towels and dishware, baking & cookware

IKEA recognized that during this lockdown, refugees face additional challenges. Some don’t have the means to home school, possible limited access to laundry facilities, and more time spent in the home cooking and eating.

IKEA locations from coast to coast connected with refugee families by reaching out to their 18 National Refugee Employment Program local community partners. In Ottawa, CCI is the IKEA partner on this program.

We identified more than 100 families for the first day of delivery.

That’s when another community partner joined us. The Ottawa Police Service, let by the Ottawa Police Hoopstars, took over the logistics of delivering the home kits earlier this month. They also made a connection with Enterprise to rent a cube van.

On delivery day, Ottawa Police volunteers showed up at IKEA and packed their vehicles along with the cube van. By the end of the day, the deliveries had been made.

But the generosity of our community partners didn’t stop there. Meals for Hope provided 100 food boxes to the newcomer families.

Since that first delivery day, we have selected more families to receive IKEA home kits. During the next few weeks, OPS volunteers will deliver them.

A big thank you to IKEA Ottawa, Ottawa Police Hoopstarts, Meals for Hope and Enterprise.