San Jose Volunteer Opportunities
Through the IRC in San Jose’s varied volunteer opportunities, individuals are able to share their unique experience and expertise directly with the IRC's refugee and asylee clients in the Silicon Valley area. We currently operate several highly effective programs designed to meet a variety of refugee and asylee newcomers' needs. We provide our clients with early resettlement help, English language classes, work readiness & job placement assistance, financial literacy training, health & medical support, cultural orientation, and immigration services, and volunteers are needed across these areas to help deliver programming and ensure the effective management of our office.
The bulk of our regular volunteer opportunities are Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. We have a four month minimum commitment for these positions, which ensures enough time for individuals to move beyond training and into meaningful work. Placement is subject to availability and volunteers must be at least 18 years old and undergo a security background check.
Client Coordination Support
Help manage the front desk by greeting clients and helping them access services and staff
Responsibilities: Answer phones, take messages, receive visiting clients, and respond to general questions about the IRC. Volunteers may also assist Case Managers with individual client activities as with Resettlement Support.
Employment Program Support
Coach refugees in search of employment
Responsibilities: Under the supervision and direction of the Employment Program Coordinator volunteers help with a range of activities such as creating resumes, filling out job & scholarship applications, mentoring clients one-on-one about finding work in the US, doing outreach to local employers, etc. Minimum commitment is six months due to training time; Classes are Monday – Friday 9:00 am – 12:00 pm.
Resettlement Program Support
Help refugees settle into their new lives in the United States
Responsibilities: Work alongside caseworkers to help with the most crucial areas of refugee resettlement work. Volunteers assist with core services which include applying for and enrolling clients in social service programs, school enrollments, apartment set-ups, and other case management related tasks. Minimum commitment 4-10 hours per week for four months.
Tutor clients in English by aiding with assignments and activities in class
Responsibilities: Provide one-on-one support to English classes focused on employment and vocational language learning; classes are Mondays – Fridays from 9:15 am to 12:00 pm.
Health Access Program Support
Help clients learn to manage their physical health and understand the U.S. healthcare system
Responsibilities: Accompany clients to health screenings and appointments, teaching clients how to use public transportation, and finding primary care physicians. They also assist clients in learning about health bills and the U.S. health system.
Immigration Program Support
Help clients become permanent residents, U.S. citizens, and petition on behalf of family members
Responsibilities: Support immigration caseworkers and clients by gaining hands on experience with immigration case management, client follow-up, database management, community outreach and education, and volunteering at citizenship workshops.
For individuals whose schedules do not permit for a regular commitment, we also offer other ways to get involved and support our work on your own time.
Mentor a Refugee
Guide a refugee or asylee through the resettlement process by visiting their home, helping them with the job search, practicing English with them and providing insight into American culture. Mentors work closely with case managers and volunteer coordinator. Most mentorship takes place during evenings and weekends.
Requirements: Participation in mentor orientation in addition to the general volunteer orientation as well as a minimum commitment of two to three hours per week for three to six months.
Speak to your Expertise
Give guidance and advice to refugees looking to take the next step in their careers by sharing your professional story and answering questions about your industry.
Requirements: 1-2 hours; Desired industries are dependent on the interest and work history of our client pool at the time. Please reach out to us for more information.
Fundraise with a D.I.Y. Campaign http://diy.rescue.org
Whether in honor of a loved one, to celebrate a milestone, or to motivate you through race training, a fundraising campaign is a great way to support refugees in the Sacramento Area on your own time and in your own way. The San Jose office is happy to support you with materials & speakers.
Requirements: motivation and creativity!
Organize an In-Kind Donation Drive
Our clients operate on tight budgets during their first years in the U.S. Products collecting dust or destined for the landfill can help put much-needed cash back in the pockets of refugee families! Harness your networks (school, clubs, etc.) to collect these goods for good use.
Requirements: Contact the IRC to find out discuss which items are most needed by our clients; willingness to deliver by the donors – we are not able to pick them up.
Join GenR http://www.rescue.org/genr
GenR is a network of young professionals (ages 25-40) in the Bay Area interested in furthering IRC’s humanitarian efforts globally and locally. GenR hosts fundraising events, organizes educational activities, and advocates for the IRC’s mission.
Requirements: An annual tax-deductible membership fee of $125 and 2-4 hours a month
The IRC in San Jose also offers more organized opportunities aimed at groups. For more information or to volunteer, please contact:
International Rescue Committee
1210 South Bascom Avenue, Suite 227
San Jose, CA 95128