How to Help

There are many ways to help:

  • Volunteer to assist in the settlement and support of refugee families
  • Make a financial donation
  • Make a pledge payable on the arrival of a refugee family
  • Donate good-quality furniture, clean clothing and footwear, refurbishable computers, phones and other household items


We always need volunteers!
Helping a newly-arrived refugee family can be a hugely rewarding experience. We welcome volunteers who can make a longer-term or a task-specific commitment. Settling a refugee family has many dimensions. Most volunteers work directly with a family on tasks such as:

  • tutoring
  • helping with English
  • finding a medical clinic
  • arranging initial immunizations
  • applying for CCB and other subsidies
  • finding housing
  • helping with budgeting

The kindness and patience of volunteers can make a world of difference to a family that feels at a loss when confronting confusing requirements for health cards, social insurance numbers, language assessments, school enrollment, notes from school in children’s backpacks that cannot be read, and much more.

While volunteers play an important role in helping refugee families become established, it is equally important to respect the autonomy, decision-making and cultural differences of newcomers.

We recognize that not all volunteers have the same time availability, energy, experience or skills. We try to place volunteers in situations where they can have confidence in being successful and effective.

Teenagers and young volunteers are also welcome! We have many opportunities to help out children and teens in newly-arrived families. For high school students, we can certify volunteer hours.

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact us at [email protected].


Donations are used solely for refugee sponsorship, settlement and support. Donations are not used to pay administrative costs.

Donations may be made by cheque, electronic transfer, or via PayPal. Please note that we cannot provide tax receipts for donations paid directly to OCRA or via PayPal.

Donations may be designated for a specific refugee or family for whom we are raising sponsorship funds.

For Syrian sponsorships, cheques should be made payable to “First United Church Ottawa”.

For Afghan sponsorships, cheques are payable to: “The Incorporated Synod of the Anglican Church of Ottawa”

Please send cheques to:

OCRA, 164 Glebe Avenue, Ottawa, ON, K1S 2C5

We will ensure cheques are delivered to the Church.

Electronic Transfers

For Afghan sponsorships, go to Select “Canada Helps” and then “Ottawa Centre Refugee Action – Fahim” from the drop-down menu. Tax receipts are issued automatically.

For Syrian sponsorships, E-Transfers may be made by email to

[email protected]

Specify “OCRA Sponsorships” and provide your address to receive a tax receipt, which will be issued at year-end. When you make an e-transfer to the Church, please advise us by email at [email protected]

Please note that we cannot provide tax receipts for donations made payable to OCRA or through our PayPal account.


We also gratefully accept pledges of financial support for specific refugee families/individuals for whom we are raising funds. Pledges are paid when we receive notice that the new refugee family is arriving in Canada.

We do not file sponsorship applications unless we are assured there will be sufficient funds to cover the cost of the sponsorship. Pledges therefore allow us to proceed with preparation and filing of applications with confidence that funds will be available later when required.

Pledges are payable when sponsorship applications are sent to IRCC by the Sponsorship Agreement Holder. Funds raised through pledges are used solely for refugee settlement and support.

There is often a lengthy delay – sometimes several years! – between preparation of an application, filing of the application and the arrival of the refugee family.

Please email us at [email protected] with any questions about financial donations, pledges, tax receipts, or for additional information.

In-kind donations

In-kind donations of gently-used and clean furniture, clothing and housewares, kitchen supplies, bicycles, refurbishable computers and cell phones are an excellent way to provide support to new arrivals. Good quality in-kind donations also allow us to reduce the financial cost of sponsorships, leaving more funds available for food, rent, and utilities. In-kind donations of apartments or other shelter at reduced rent are also a wonderful way to support a newly-arrived refugee family. Tax receipts for subsidized rents can be arranged.