U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants 2021 Welcoming Iowa Benefit

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DES MOINES, IA – USCRI Des Moines will host its third annual Welcoming Iowa benefit Thursday, October 14th, 2021 from 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. at the Foundry Distilling Company in Historic Valley Junction.

 

USCRI Des Moines is the largest refugee resettlement agency in Iowa, welcoming over 4,000 refugees since 2010. The agency expects to receive 340 refugees and 125 Afghan evacuees over the coming year, and helps new Iowans establish homes and livelihoods as well as access health care, education, legal support, and other vital community resources.

 

This year’s event will raise support for our Afghan allies and increased numbers of refugees arriving to Central Iowa. Attendees will experience what hospitality looks like in different cultures, with food from around the world and musical entertainment followed by a short program.

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Our guest speaker is Lanon Baccam. Baccam is the son of Taidam refugees from Laos who arrived in Iowa in 1980. He is a military veteran and spent eight years in the U.S. Army and Iowa National Guard and was deployed to Afghanistan in 2004-2005. During the Obama Administration, Baccam served as Deputy Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services (FFAS) at the United States Department of Agriculture and has returned to the USDA in the Biden Administration to serve as Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s Director of Scheduling and Advance.

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“As Iowa prepares to welcome Afghan refugees, we are drawing on our long-standing tradition of being a welcoming state,” said Kerri True-Funk, Director of the USCRI Des Moines Field Office. “Our work relies on that tradition to help meet the needs of arriving families. We honestly could not do this work without the generosity, enthusiasm, and kindness shown by our community.”

 

For more information and to register visit https://give.classy.org/WelcomingIowa.

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About USCRI Des Moines

The U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants’ mission is to protect the rights and address the needs of persons in forced or voluntary migration worldwide and support their transition to a dignified life. USCRI’s Des Moines field office has been bringing hope and opportunity to Iowa’s newest community members since 2010.

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