Refugee family to be resettled in Emmitsburg

Paul Harner

The Emmitsburg Council of Churches has decided to sponsor the resettlement of a refugee family from the Balkans area of Europe into Emmitsburg. This decision came after meetings with members of Trinity Methodist Church in Thurmont, who sponsored a Bosnian family in 1998, and representatives of the Refugee Resettlement Sponsorship Program for the Church World Service. 

The members of Trinity recounted what to them was a very fulfilling experience and the Church World Service representatives noted the procedures and expectations. It is expected that it will be two or three months before the family arrives.

This will be a large undertaking for us and we are hoping to get support from the members of our community. Fortunately, we have two excellent Co-Chairmen, Mayor Bill Carr and Mr. Richard Dodds. 

We are currently in the process of staffing our committees: 

  • Housing (locating a house or apartment, furnishings, etc.);
  • Life Issues (medical, dental, education, etc.);
  • Necessities (providing clothing, food, household necessities, etc.);
  • Finance (helping find employment, fund raising, banking);
  • Transportation (volunteer transporting, finding car, getting drivers license); and,
  • Communication (interpreters, tutoring, if necessary).

  If you, or you and your friends would like to serve on any of these committees, please call Mayor Carr (447-2782), Dick Dodds (447-2270) or Paul Harner (717 642-6202).

As many of you know, the Council of Churchesí primary effort is helping those in our community in need. The refugee resettlement effort will in no way detract from that effort, either in manpower or monetary needs. But our Council feels that helping a displaced family move forward and giving them a chance to succeed is a worthy objective and one that should make us feel good about ourselves. 

Iíve always said that I would never have traded place with anybody who grew up in any town other than Emmitsburg. It, like all communities, has changed somewhat over the last 50 Ė 60 years; but I know that Emmitsburg would welcome such a family and maybe, just maybe, the children would enjoy Emmitsburg as I did.