Frequently Asked Questions

What is the RefugeePartners website?

The refugeepartners website is a pilot project showcasing the stories of refugees who have recently relocated to the Greater Victoria area. On the website, you will find stories from refugee families along with their wish list of items that they need. 
This website provides a safe and efficient structure that will afford people in the community an opportunity to help refugees with their specific personal needs. It is a practical structure to connect donors with recipients.

How does it work?

In four steps:

  1. Refugees are interviewed. They share something about the personal story of their family.
  2. Their stories and wish lists are posted on
  3. A press release is sent to the media—radio, newspaper & TV—to drive traffic to the website
  4. Community members read the stories, pledge gifts on the website, and deliver the gifts to the appropriate location for distribution directly to the refugees.

Who are refugees?

Refugees are people who have been forced to leave their homes due to violence or other threatening events.

What do refugees need?

As this is a pilot project, we are unceratin what they will ask for but expect that it willl include household items, clothing, toys/games, pre-packaged food, technological equipment as well as advice and information about employment or training.

If I know someone who should be on the list, how can I help them apply?

All stories come from organizations listed on the website. The best way to find out if it is possible to addd someone to the list is to contact the Intercultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA).

When will the stories be uploaded?

Stories will be uploaded after November 23.

How do I know if the person received the gift?

Refugees will be required to sign for their gifts at pickup. We are hoping that we can develop the appropriate technology to provide a way for thank you messages to be posted.

Can I buy the gifts online?

Yes, the gifts can be purchased online and delivered to the drop-off location. Be sure and include a caring note.

Can I make a donation directly to RefugeePartners?

Yes! By all means, please do. RefugeePartners, like HomelessPartners, has no paid staff and pays for no advertising. All funds for these programs go directly to costs to keep it in operation—technical fees, software development, accounting, etc. There is no charge for using the websites. All donated funds go directly to homelesspartners, which is a registered Canadian charity, through CanadaHelps, which automatically writes a tax deductible receipt for every donation.
 We are hoping to collect enough donations so that software development can be undertaken to afford the refugees the ability to have their “Thank yous” posted as well as update their own stories so that anyone in the community can follow their ongoing story.

I've made a pledge on the website, but when I revisit the site, the stories are still unpledged? What do I do?

Send us an email and we’ll try to fix it.

What if I find out I can’t purchase or deliver my gift?

You should unpledge your gift on the website as soon as possible so that someone else may be able to make the pledge.

Is it possible to meet the person who we bought the gift for?

This is a pilot project so there is no model to follow. If personal contact is possible, that would be decided by the ICA.

Can I deliver gifts after the holidays?

At this point, we have no structure for this, but keep watching for new developments.

Can I purchase the items requested or is there a shopper to do this?

No, there is no shopper to purchase items requested.

At this point, there is no structure to handle donations for those left ungifted.
 Any inquiries about helping refugees in general should be made through the ICA.

Is the RefugeePartners program only for refugees?

Refugeepartners is a program of HomelessPartners, which is a registered Canadian charity. All the stories on the website are referred through the ICA, which helps the government-sponsored refugees get settled in their new home.

How is RefugeesPartners organized?

RefugeePartners, a program of HomelessPartners, is a pilot project which will hopefully become a global outreach to encourage communities, wherever there are refugees, to help their refugee population. The website is the common element that provides a structure: the display of refugee stories, the tracking of pledged gifts and places where gifts can be delivered.

At this point, RefugeePartners is only in one city, but as it spreads, it will be independently organized by each community. The use of the website is free for everyone.

How is RefugeesPartners funded?

Refugeepartners is funded privately. It is our hope that we can apply for grants from a variety of sources for the purpose of maintaining the websites. There are no paid staff, and all advertising is done by social media and press releases to media outlets who choose to cover the story.

I want to become more involved. What can I do to help?

Contact us and we'll forward you any specific volunteer opportunities.