Help Us Welcome Refugees in Danbury/Bethel, Connecticut
Team Member: Karen Foster
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 community members of the Greater Danbury, CT area set in motion a plan to get involved in the resettlement of those affected by war or persecution.
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 area, and helping to acclimate and acculturate them in a new country and 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.
What sets us apart from the six other IRIS-approved groups across the state of Connecticut 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 simply a collection of people working together to help those in need. 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.
We are attempting to raise the money we need to support our family for 4 to 6 months while they establish themselves with jobs, enroll in school, and become community members. Your donation will help cover expenses such as: the rent and security deposit for an apartment, furniture and supplies for the home, clothing, shoes and necessities for each family member, phone service, transportation (e.g., bus passes), groceries, and other provisions. 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 will 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 our group does not currently have 501c3 non-profit corporation status, so all donations made by persons online are NOT tax deductible at this time, and are instead considered personal gifts.
Thank you for your consideration in supporting our campaign.
Other resources and 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 that 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.