Benefit Dinner to Help Incoming Refugee Family

Mary Sheppard

Managing Editor

The Danbury Area Refugee Assistance is hosting a benefit dinner for an incoming refugee family from 5-9 p.m. on Saturday, January 30th, at St. Ann Melkite Greek Catholic Church, 181 Clapboard Ridge Rd., Danbury.

James Naddeo, a Bethel resident who helped organize the refugee assistance group last fall, says the family is expected to arrive in the next few months. He says they will most likely be placed in Danbury or Bethel due to the lower costs for housing and easily-accessible public transportation, according to

The group is working with the New-Haven based Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services to find the family an apartment to live in, find jobs for the parents, enroll the children in school, and put them in contact with local health and social services. Their plan is to co-sponsor the family for their first 4-6 months of integrating into the community.

On the group’s fundraising page, $6,676 has already been donated.  “Our group will be a part of their lives well into the future, not just in helping them get settled,” Naddeo writes, “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.”

The event will feature a jazz band, a silent auction, belly-dancing, an open bar, and more. Tickets can be purchased at the door for $45, and all proceeds will go directly to helping the family resettle. You can learn more about the Danbury Area Refugee Assistance’s mission at

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