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A Manitoba Photographer Is Selling A Gorgeous Calendar To Help Refugees

45 Syrian refugees will soon arrive in Altona, Manitoba. Jay Siemens is raising money to help them settle in.

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Jay Siemens lives in the small town of Altona, Manitoba, which will soon welcome 45 Syrian refugees. The arrival of 10 parents and 35 children got Siemens, a 23-year-old professional photographer, thinking about how he could help these families.

Jay Siemens

"I was on a recent photo trip to Iceland and while I was there I read an article saying Altona’s population was about to go up by 1% because of the refugee families we're taking in," he told BuzzFeed Canada. "I thought, 'There’s got to be a way to tie it together.' I want be able to give back. The refugees are coming and not everything is figured out yet."

People had been emailing him asking to buy prints of his photos, so he decided to put together a fundraiser calendar of his landscape photos from around the world. He also reached out to a local printer, Friesens, and they immediately offered to contribute the printing and design work for 1,000 calendars.

All of the money will be donated to Build a Village, a local church charity working with the refugees.

The calendar sells for $20, plus $10 shipping. "It's about more than just giving them money," Siemens said. "It’s setting them up with housing, helping them in the community, and getting them set up with jobs."