Following the publication of yesterday’s letter about an incident involving bigotry and prejudice at a Ridgefield meeting on resettlement of a Syrian refugee family, Wilton’s own organization–the Wilton Interfaith Action Committee (Wi-ACT)–submitted this letter to the editor. The letter says that Wi-ACT’s similar refugee resettlement effort has been free from hearing any community objection with racist or intolerant overtones.  

Dear Editor,

Thank you for publishing Rebecca Darst’s eloquent letter. She had been an active volunteer with Wi-ACT’s refugee resettlement work here in Wilton, and so it comes as no surprise that she is involved in the same important work now underway in Ridgefield with a separate local Ridgefield group. Her letter was about her recent experience with a few very vocal protesters at a public meeting about that work in Ridgefield.

We have been fortunate here in Wilton to be free of that kind of reaction. In fact, to the contrary, Wilton has proven itself to be a wonderfully welcoming community in every respect from Day One of this experience, and for that both Wi-ACT and our family are enormously grateful.

Helping a widow with five young children–a tremendously hardworking, intelligent and caring person who is devoted to her family and who managed to extricate them singlehandedly from the bloodshed in Syria to refugee status in Jordan and then got them through the very rigorous screening process that brought them to America–is a straightforward humanitarian gesture. And which of our families were not at one time immigrants themselves?

Wilton’s welcome is a reflection of our town’s admirable civic virtues, and Wilton can be very proud of the way it is upholding those virtues on the ground with our own family.

The Wilton Interfaith Action Committee (Wi-ACT)