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Untitled-1During the last three years, the Interfaith Refugee Ministry (IRM) helped almost 200 refugees resettle in the Port City from Myanmar, Iraq and Colombia. A sub-office of Interfaith Refugee Ministry in New Bern, the nonprofit is an outreach ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of East Carolina and affiliate office of Episcopal Migration Ministries in New York City. Volunteers with the organization help teach refugees how to work stoves, learn English, and ready children who have lived in refugee camps to enter a new school system in the United States.

Recently, the IRM needed supplies to help their mission: working bikes for refugees to get to English classes and work, and a clothing dryer for one family. Groups travel from across the nation to help refugees fleeing from persecution. A few weeks ago, a youth group from Linworth Road Church in Ohio came to Wilmington to help IRM volunteers set up an apartment for a soon-to-arrive refugee family from Burma.

Now, the IRM is looking for local help to keep the ministry afloat as its “International Ticket to Taste” event approaches on Friday, September 6th at 6:30 p.m. at St. James Episcopal Church (Third and Market streets). Tickets are $25 with limited seating, and tickets must be purchased by August 30th, as no tickets will be sold at the door. Folks who wish to contribute but cannot attend the event have the option to purchase a ticket for one of the refugees so they can experience the fund-raiser. (Make sure to tell the IRM you want to donate your ticket.)

Brian Mayberry, the chef and owner of Dixie Grill in downtown Wilmington, will create a three-course meal inspired by the flavors of Myanmar (Burma), Iraq and Colombia, all home countries of refugees who have come to Wilmington. Jon Evans of WECT will emcee the event. IRM will accept items to help a refugee family feel more at home in the port city as well, including:

• Furniture such as mattresses, box springs, bed frames, dressers, couches, lamps, light bulbs, kitchen table/chairs
• Towels, washcloths, sheets, blankets, pillows, pillowcases, alarm clock, paper/pens/pencils
• Soap and kitchen items such as place settings of tableware, plates, bowls, cups, pots/pans, mixing/serving bowls, kitchen utensils and can openers.
• Toiletries such as toilet tissue, shampoo, soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, razors, feminine hygiene products.
For more information, folks can contact (910) 264-7244 or

International Ticket to Taste

St. James Episcopal Chruch
Sept. 6th (ticket deadline Aug. 30th), 6:30 p.m.
$25 •
Contact: or 910-264-7244

Volunteers needed for Brunswick County Intercultural Festival!
The annual Brunswick County Intercultural Festival once again will bring the world to the front lawn of Odell Williamson Auditorium at Brunswick Community College on September 7th, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. But the festival could use some volunteer help to do so.

Mari-Lou Wong-Chong, chairwoman of the Brunswick County Intercultural Festival, said the greatest needs are volunteers to help participants set up and take down their booths. The festival needs people to direct vendors to assigned booths, and help canvass the crowd to estimate numbers of attendees and get feedback on the event. After volunteering, folks can enjoy the festival, too.

For an $8 “Passport,” the festival will showcase food from China, Mexico, Latin American countries, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, the Caribbean, the American South, India, Italy, the Mediterranean, Africa, Germany and more. The International Tent will feature loads of children’s activities, workshops and storytelling times.

Yet, the entertainment is the most colorful part of the day each year. In past years, women balanced blood-red lotus-flower hats on their heads during a Japanese dance. A young girl draped in flowers shook a gourd instrument during a Hawaiian dance. On site will be the Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko (Japanese Dance & Drum), Walsh Kelley School of Irish Dance, Filipinas and Kaliwali Arts Folk Dance, Middle Eastern dance, Techmoja Dance and Theater Company, Rinku Bhattacharya Das Indian Dance Group, a Mexican folklore dance, Miyagi Ryukyi Japanese Dance School and hula dancing with the Polynesian Island Praise Dancers.

Volunteer hopefuls can visit or e-mail to find out more.

Brunswick Intercultural Festival

Brunswick Community College, Odell Williamson Auditorium Lawn
Sept. 7th, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
$8 w/tastings; free to enter without food samplings

Amanda Greene is the editor and community manager for Wilmington Faith & Values, Know of an upcoming ministry or nonprofit event? Send it to Amanda Greene, or call (910) 520-3958.

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Encore Magazine regularly covers topics pertaining to news, arts, entertainment, food, and city life in Wilmington. It also maintains schedules and listings of local events like concerts, festivals, live performance art and think-tank events. Encore Magazine is an entity of H&P Media, which also powers Wilmington’s local ticketing platform, Print and online editions are updated every Wednesday.

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