Help Us Welcome Refugees in Danbury/Bethel, Connecticut
Team Member: Barbara Davis
James Naddeo wrote -
The worldwide refugee crisis has displaced a record 60 million people from their homes, the most since World War II. In September, 2015 members of the Danbury/Bethel, CT community and some surrounding towns set in motion a plan to get involved in the resettlement of those affected by war or persecution in their country.
With the help and guidance of Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services (IRIS) [www.iris-ct.org], our group is now undertaking the challenge of co-sponsoring a refugee family in our town, and helping to acclimate and acculturate them in a new country, new state, and new culture. We have been approved and trained by the team at IRIS, and the last step before being green-lighted to receive a recognized refugee family is to raise funding.
One of the factors that sets our group apart from the other six groups across the state of Connecticut that have also been trained and approved for co-sponsorship is that we are the only unaffiliated group to this point; we do not have a congregation or social organization behind us to provide financial backing or support. We are a collection of people who have come together to help those in need, and truly make a difference. This is why we are calling upon our friends, family, and other supporters of the refugee resettlement mission to help us by contributing to our effort.
With this fundraiser, we are attempting to raise a portion of the total amount we need in order to support our family for 4-6 months while they establish themselves with jobs, enrolling in school, etc. Expenses include the rent and security deposit for a home, furniture and supplies to appoint the home, appropriate clothing and shoes for each family member, phone service, transportation (e.g. bus passes), groceries, and other incidentals. The goal of co-sponsorship is to help each family in the short-term as they get used to their new lives, and to also empower them with the tools -- both financial and social -- to become self-sufficient within half a year. Our group will be a part of their lives well into the future, not just in helping them get settled. This is a long-term commitment, and our way to invest in the health, safety, and well-being of people who have endured stress, violence, intolerance and upheaval the likes of which most of us will never experience.
We are hoping that our friends, family, and supporters from around the country and the world might find it within their means to donate any amount to help us achieve our goal of raising at least $3,000 in order to have sufficient financial resources to welcome our refugee family in early 2016. Please note that, due to the fact our group does not currently have 501c3 non-profit corporation status, all donations made by persons online are NOT tax deductible at this time, and are instead considered personal gifts.
Thank you for reading and for your consideration in supporting our campaign.
Other Resources & Reading About The Refugee Crisis, and Our Group:
More about the organization arranging our co-sponsorship efforts: Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services (IRIS)
Background on the process of becoming a refugee: The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR)
More information About The Refugee Process
An article about our efforts which appeared in the Danbury News-Times prior to our group's first meeting.
An article from our local Patch.com discussing Gov. Dannel Malloy's efforts to continue to welcome Syrian refugees in which a group member, James Naddeo, was quoted.