Valley neighborhood raising funds for newly-relocated Syrian refugee family

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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

A newly-relocated Syrian refugee family is settling into its new home in Phoenix.

The family of six came here with nothing after spending the last couple of years in a refugee camp in Turkey. Now, an entire central Phoenix neighborhood is rallying to make sure they have everything they need.

The family is already being helped by the International Rescue Committee, a non-profit humanitarian group. But, they needed an additional leg up, according to Jeff Jones. 

A used blue dresser, a gift for a nearly blind Syrian 11-year-old, is one of dozens of items Jones is collecting from his neighbors to give to the refugee family.

"I told my wife, that's stuff Americans throw away all of the time," said Jones.  

Jones’ wife teaches visually impaired children. The little refugee boy is her newest student.

"He got to go to school through about first or second grade and then war interrupted that," said Jones.

His three older brothers, two of whom also have the same eye condition, came to the U.S. with their parents, but with no money and no furniture.  

Jones posted to Nextdoor.com hoping to raise funds.

"I was out on a run one day and I was thinking, ‘What can I do for this little boy and his family?’ Because it really hurt me. Because they're probably not going to be able to speak English, and I’ve seen some documentaries on what's going on over in Syria and I thought, ‘What can I do for this family?’” Jones said.

Right away donations started flooding his inbox.

“I couldn't keep up with all the emails."

Offerings of furniture, cash, even job offerings to the oldest sons.

Jones plans to drop off what he collects to the family next week.

If you'd like to help, Jones asks that all donations go through the International Rescue Committee.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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Lauren ReimerLauren Reimer joined the 3TV/CBS 5 family in June 2016. She is originally from Racine, WI but is no stranger to our heat.

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Lauren Reimer

She previously worked for KVOA in Tucson, covering topics that matter to Arizonans including the monsoon, wildfires and border issues. During the child migrant crisis of 2014, Reimer was one of only a handful of journalists given access to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection detention facility in Nogales, where hundreds of unaccompanied children were being held after crossing into the U.S. from Central America. Before that, Reimer worked at WREX in Rockford, IL. Lauren is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and still visits home often. When not chasing news stories, Reimer loves to explore, enjoying everything from trying new adventurous foods to visiting state and national parks or local places of historical significance.

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