Christmas tree sales in support of newcomer family emergency relief funds

by New Brunswick Multicultural Council
December 4, 2020

Starting Saturday December 5th, immigrant serving agencies in the Fredericton, Saint John and Moncton areas will be selling Christmas trees, as part of their community donation campaigns supporting newcomer families.

The New Brunswick Multicultural Council (NBMC) received an unexpected call last week, with an offer of 3200 live Christmas trees from IKEA Canada that needed a home following the closure of 3 locations in Ontario, due to the pandemic. The IKEA donation came through Canada’s Furniture Bank Network (FBN), which is partnering with IKEA Canada to prioritize reuse of unwanted items in support of social goals within communities across Canada. The trees themselves are supplied by G.A.R. Tree Farms, a local grower of balsam fir in Nova Scotia.

“This donation is a Christmas blessing that will help these agencies raise much needed funds to fill some of the financial cracks and emergency needs that the pandemic has exposed,” said Alex LeBlanc, Executive Director of the New Brunswick Multicultural Council. “We’ve also seen reports of shortages of live trees, so we hope this will enable more households to have a live tree as we celebrate the holidays in a different way this year.”

The agencies participating in the Pop-up Christmas Tree Fundraiser are the Multicultural Association of Fredericton (MCAF), the Multicultural Association of the Greater Moncton Area (MAGMA), the Saint John YMCA Newcomer Connections and the Saint John Newcomers Center (SJNC).

Trees are being sold for a minimum donation of $25.00. The money raised through this initiative will support Covid-related emergency relief funds for vulnerable clients, MCAF and SJNC Newcomer Scholarship Funds, as well as the Saint John YMCA Strong Communities Campaign. The operations in each city will follow Covid-19 regulations and guidelines to keep volunteers, staff and customers safe through the process.

Below is a list of the local newcomer settlement agencies involved with the fundraiser, the locations for each of the pop-up tree shops, and where the money raised will be directed.

Multicultural Association of Fredericton

MCAF building, 28 Saunders Street

Saint John Newcomers Center and Saint John YMCA Newcomer Connections

Irving Oil Field House, 129 McAllister Dr.

Multicultural Association of the Greater Moncton Area

Canadian Tire, 1380 Mountain St.

“At IKEA, our vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people and we are committed to supporting local communities across Canada, particularly during these challenging times,” said Melissa Barbosa, Head of Sustainability, IKEA Canada. “Through the Furniture Bank Network, we are pleased to partner with the New Brunswick Multicultural Council to donate 3200 Christmas trees, which in turn will support efforts to raise funds to help more vulnerable newcomer families find success in their communities.”