Catholic Charities hosted recently arrived refugees

Catholic Charities of Tennessee’s Refugee Services department hosted a special New Beginnings 2013 party for refugees who were resettled in Middle Tennessee through the program during calendar year 2012. The party, an annual event, helps recently arrived refugees celebrate the start of a New Year in a new country and community, offering new opportunities for their families.

The party was held on Saturday, January 12, from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. at Loews Vanderbilt Hotel, 2100 West End Avenue.

Approximately 200 refugees, from more than ten countries, who resettled in Middle Tennessee in 2012 with the assistance of Refugee Services department were guests at the event.

Guests, many of whom dress in finery from their native country, were treated to a buffet of finger foods and entertainment.

We anticipate that some of the guests will demonstrate ethnic dancing and provide ethnic music and song, too. Children at the party were treated to a special crafts table.

Catholic Charities of Tennessee, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last July, was established, in part, to assist with the resettlement of Cuban refugees in the early 1960s. Its Refugee Services program was created in 1975.

Over the past ten years, Catholic Charities has welcomed 3,200 refugees from more than 19 countries to Middle Tennessee. Refugee Services provides a host of programs focused on self-sufficiency and financial sustainability. Among the offerings are English as a Second Language (ESL) classes and cultural orientations, along with job placement and support. Programs for refugee elders and youth have received regional and national recognition.