Canadian Syrian refugees pitched in to help wildfire victims in Fort McMurray, Alberta as tens of thousands have been displaced while more than 2,000 structures were devoured by the fire in early May.
"We are good people, we want to be a good part of this society," Rita Kanchet Kallas, one of the Syrian refugees, told Al Jazeera.
Kallas, together with her husband and five-year-old son, are among the 27,000 Syrian refugees Canada has welcomed since last autumn. The family is staying in Calgary where many of the refugees have been resettled and where more than 1,000 residents in Fort McMurray have been evacuated, according to Deutsche Welle.
Kallas and another refugee, Naser Nader, took to Facebook to call on the Syrian community in Calgary to help the wildfire victims. They used the refugees' group page Syrian Refugee Support Group Calgary, originally intended to help the refugees in Calgary, to organize donations and help for the evacuees.
"We will do our best to give back the good things [Canadians have done] for us," said Kallas, who shared that they filled 16 hampers of emergency goods and donated $400 to the Canadian Red Cross.
Even Kallas' young son also wanted to help by giving away his own toys to the children evacuees.
"We really know the meaning of losing everything in one moment ... To lose everything in one moment you will lose your whole past, everything you have been building since you were born," said 24-year-old Tareq Hadhad, whose family is giving away portions of their profit from selling handmade chocolates to the Red Cross and other volunteer groups in Fort McMurray.
"Mind you these refugees have very little, everything in their own household is a donated item," said Saima Jamal, one of the founders of the refugees' support group, in an interview with CTV News.
Jamal added, "They saw in the last five months how much the Canadians have done for them...they were waiting for an opportunity to give back."