Dinner to support refugee family in New Milford

A benefit dinner to support a refugee family in New Milford will be held Saturday.

“We are trying to support the basic needs” such as rent and electricity for a mother and three children from Honduras, according to Eileen Monaghan, a member of the New Milford fundraising committee for the New Milford Refugee Relocation group.

The group, created by volunteers from four religious institutions to resettle refugee families in town in 2016, is referring to itself as New Milford Refugee Settlement 2.0, since this is second time the group is helping a refugee family.

Monaghan said the family is working to get asylum and is registered with ICE.

Michele Shackelford, who heads up the NMRS 2.0, said one of the things that makes this case different than the group’s last is that this family is seeking asylum.

Asylum seekers cannot work, which makes it difficult for the mother to have funds to pay for rent, food and other needs, Shackelford said.

The dinner, to take place at the New Milford United Methodist Church at 68 Danbury Road (Route 7)from 5 to 7 p.m., will provide funds toward rent. Other needs such as transportation and medical care are provided in other ways.

A group of volunteers helps the family get to and from doctor appointments, school meetings and complete other errands.

A New York City attorney is handling the asylum case, and local attorneys are providing support, all pro bono.

A nurse monitors the family’s medical needs, and the children are enrolled in school.

“I think we’re all helping because we are frustrated with what’s happening at the border and how we can help,” Shackelford said. “If we can help just one family to integrate within a community, that’s what we want to do.”

When the NMRR was formed three years ago, it joined a network of small local organizations that were working to help those who have had to flee their homelands seeking refuge and safety.

A Danbury church and five New Milford places of worship — New Milford United Methodist Church, St. John’s Episcopal Church, St. Francis Xavier Church, Faith Church and Temple Sholom — recently pulled together to help the family.

The cost of the dinner is $15 per person and $25 per family.

General donations to help the family can be made to NMRR, c/o St. John’s Episcopal Church, 7 Whittlesey Ave., New Milford, CT 06776.

Checks should be made payable to NMRR. To RSVP, email epqm09@gmail.com.