Senior citizens gather school supplies for refugee kids

August 11, 2017 12:51 PM

LATHAM - The number of refugees settling in the Capital Region is growing.

With back-to-school just around the corner, a group of volunteers at Shaker Pointe in Latham is trying to make sure these kids get the school supplies they need for classes.

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The volunteers, some with a personal connection to refugees, have been trying to help these families resettle in the Capital Region. They were focused on getting kids back-to-school on Friday, putting boxes together filled with school supplies.

The seniors get the list of needed supplies from the school districts' websites. Through donations or sometimes their own resources, they collect pens, pencils, ring binders, notebooks, folders -- everything on the school's list. They will then be delivered to the USCRI, the United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants in Albany.

The group says this school supply drive will allow refugees and their families to focus on other priorities. They say these families, often from war torn places like Syria and Central Africa, face a lot of difficulties resettling in a new country. They need a lot of help.

"I feel like I have to do this. It's just in my heart. Then I get real personal benefits from some of the people that I meet," explained one senior.

"It's gratifying to be able to contribute in some small way to the miseries of refugees around the world. It's a very small contribution, but people here are enormously generous," echoed another senior.

Volunteers do about three collections a year. In the winter, they collect winter clothes and accessories. They say just imagine someone coming from Central Africa to the Capital Region in the middle of winter. When they get a coat, or scarves and gloves. It's greatly appreciated.

The group is always looking for donations if you have them.


WNYT Staff

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