WOODBURY — New Start Ministry, a consortium of local congregations that works with Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services in New Haven to co-sponsor refugees, recently welcomed a family from Afghanistan.

Volunteers worked through the summer to find and furnish an apartment in Waterbury for the family of four, who arrived on July 24.

Since then, team members report “a constant whirlwind of activity,” from doctors’ appointments to shopping, English lessons, Social Services office visits, registering the family’s young sons in grade school, writing resumes for employment and more.

“The good news is that they feel safe and comfortable in their apartment, the adults wish to start working soon, and all are making quick progress with their English skills,” said New Start leader Susan Suhr.

New Start is facing a shortage of daytime volunteer interpreters, forcing them to hire costly paid interpreter services.

Area residents wishing to help cover expenses may make a check payable to St. Paul’s Church with “New Start Ministry” on the memo line, and mail it to St. Paul’s Church, P.O. Box 5002, Woodbury 06798.

“No gift is too small, and all donations are tax deductible,” said Ms. Suhr. 

Those who speak Turkish and are willing to volunteer as interpreters can reach Ms. Suhr at susan.e.suhr@gmail.com.

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