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How to volunteer in Los Angeles

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer or intern at the IRC in Los Angeles, the first step is to attend an information session.

During the information session, you will learn about the International Rescue Committee, the programs in our office and who we serve, our current volunteer positions and the volunteer application process. 

Space in the information session is limited. To reserve a spot, see dates below and RSVP for the date/time that works for you. You will receive a confirmation e-mail with additional information the week of the information session. Due to the high volume of inquiries, it typically takes at least two to four months to complete the application process (including the background check). Once you have completed the information session, and submitted the application form, we will bring you in for an interview if your skills and availability are a match for our office. 

For all in-office volunteers, we require a minimum committment of 3 months, and 5 hours a week. 

Please note: Volunteers must complete a background check and the IRC asks that you contribute $35 towards its cost.

For more information on internship opportunities and requirements, please go to: IRC LA Internships

Upcoming Information Sessions:

Friday, October 6th, 2017 10am - 11am 

Please make sure to RSVP by emailing the Volunteer Coordinator at rameena.rahman [at] rescue.org (subject: Volunteer%20Information%20Session)

 If you know you are ready to volunteer with us, please complete the online volunteer application and upload your resume. You will be contacted should we wish to bring you in for an interview. 

All orientations take place at our office, located at: 625 N. Maryland Avenue, Glendale, CA 91206


Current In-Office Opportunities:

Pre-Arrival Volunteer (Volunteers with Farsi and/or Armenian fluency especially needed) 

The Pre-Arrival program assists refugee clients with the process of relocation to the United States. The pre-arrival team also facilitates the application process, where the U.S. tie applies on behalf of persons in Iran who qualify to gain refugee status through the Lautenberg program. The pre-arrival volunteer will assist with this application process. Fluency in Farsi or Armenian is highly desired for this position.

Reception & Placement Volunteer

The Reception and Placement Volunteer works assists RP caseworkers in resettling newly arrived refugees. They will primarily support caseworkers in preparing and documenting casenotes on each refugee client. Duties also include follow up calls, home visits and providing transportation to clients as they attend essential services. Volunteer's availability must fall between Monday - Friday, between the hours of 9am - 4pm.

Bilingual ability in Farsi, Armenian, Arabic, Burmese, and/or Spanish is highly desired. 

Refugee Housing Volunteer

The Refugee Housing Volunteer will assist the Reception and Placement department to create and maintain a list of housing options for newly arrived refugees. This will include outreach and building/maintaing relationships in order to provide our clients with housing options as quickly as possible, including emergency/short term housing options. This position requires the volunteer to act independently with minimal supervision. The volunteer will be supervised and expected to maintain regular contact with our Casework Supervisor. This position will report to the Reception and Placement Casework Supervisor. 

This position can accomodate flexible hours and availability.

Immigration Volunteer

The Immigration volunteer will help provide services to clients seeking various forms of immigration assistance. The volunteer will learn about and gain experience in the naturalization process; how to file various citizenship and naturalization forms, as well as forms for immigration benefits. Must be available during the hours of Monday - Friday, 9am-4pm. 

Early Employment Volunteer 

The Early Employment Volunteer will support the Early Employment team by working one on one with newly arrived refugees/asylees in:

  • Completing Job Applications
  • Conducting Interview prep and practice
  • Accompanying refugees/asylees to job interviews
  • Working with refugees/asylees to navigate the job search process
  • Supporting refugees/asylees post job placement to ensure maximum success (helping navigate new job paperwork, new workplace adjustment)  

   (Must be available to come into the IRC office in Glendale between the hours of Monday – Friday, 9am – 4:00pm)

Central American Minor (CAM) Program Volunteer (Unavailable. Program currently closed)

The CAM program volunteer will assist the Resettlement Caseworker in processing CAM-AOR applications, providing follow up and case updates, as well as potentially assisting in home visits in an interpreter capacity. Fluency in Spanish is required for this position. 

Vocational English as a Second Languge (VESL) Volunteer Instructor

  • Instruct in-office ESL classes (Glendale)
  • TESOL/TEFL required 
  • Volunteer instructor must be available Tuesdays and Thursdays between the hours of 10am - 1pm. 
  • Full curriculum and all materials provided


Immigration Outreach Volunteer

  • Present information to groups about Immigration services, citizenship classes and citizenship workshops provided for free or low cost by the International Rescue Committee
  • Full presentation training is provided
  • Sign up for presentations as it fits your schedule
  • Evening and weekend presentation opportunities available
  • Bilingual in Spanish highly desirable

Evening and Weekend Opportunities:

Citizenship and Financial Capability Program (CFCP) Volunteer Instructor

  • The CFCP Volunteer Instructor will teach two citizenship/financial education classes a week (or one Saturday a week) at a Los Angeles Public Library.
  • The instructor will provide much needed knowledge and support to eligible immigrants (Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR)/Green Card Holders) in the process of becoming a citizen.
  • The time commitment for this position is 8-10 weeks for 2-4 hours, twice a week. (Classes generally take place from 5:30pm - 7:30pm twice a week or on Saturday mornings from 10am - 2pm.)
  • Full curriculum and all materials are provided. Previous teaching/training experience highly desired. 

Citizenship and Financial Capability (CFCP) Classroom Assistant

The Citizenship and Financial Capability Volunteer Classroom Assistant will assist the Citizenship and Financial Capability Volunteer Instructor in the classroom at a Los Angeles Public Library:

  • Assisting with class preparation,
  • Helping to check in students and helping students in the classroom.
  • If interested, this position can transition into Citizenship and Financial Capability Volunteer Instructor. 
  • Bilingual in English/Spanish welcome, however not necessary

Citizenship Class Locations: 

  • Glendale Library
  • Wilshire Branch Library
  • Benjamin Franklin Library (Boyle Heights)
  • Alma Reeves-Watts Branch Library
  • Central Library (DTLA) 
  • Harbor Gateway Library
  • Panorama City Branch Library 
  • Pico Union Branch Library 
  • Pacoima Branch Library
  • Cahuenga Branch Library
  • Mar Vista Branch Library
  • Cypress Park Branch Library
  • West Covina Library
  • El Sereno Library

***When submitting your application or emailing Volunteer Coordinator, please include which libraries you would be willing to volunteer at. ***


Women's Economic Empowerment Program Volunteer 

Financial Coaching Volunteers assist the Financial Coach with clients from various citizenship classes in Los Angeles in one-on-one financial coaching sessions.

  •  Help develop better financial habits and address long term financial goals
  •  Work directly with Financial Coach in order to assess and evaluate client progression
  •  All Financial Coaching Volunteers receive one-on-one training from Women's Economic Empowerment Team and must participate in three shadowing sessions before being assigned a client
  • Financial Coaching Volunteers must have the ability to commit 8-10 weeks, for a total of 8 hours (or more) of coaching per client. (One hour per client/per week)
  • Must be able to meet clients across various LA Public Libraries and County Libraries or at the IRC office in Glendale
  • Bilingual in Spanish highly desired
  • Experience in a financial coaching/tutoring capacity, or experience in the financial world (bank teller, financial counselor) highly desired

One Off/Reoccuring Opportunities:

Citizenship Application Workshops

We hold regular Citizenship Workshops throughout the year to provide one on one application support for those who are eligible to apply for US Citizenship. Citizenship Application trainings are available as needed. If interested, please email rameena.rahman [at] rescue.org to be placed on our Workshop mailing list. Workshops generally take place on weekends, evenings and throughout the week. 

English Conversation Group

We hold an English Conversation Group every Thursday from 10am - 12pm at our office in Glendale. The only requirement is that you speak English and are comfortable holding a conversation with one to three people! If you would like to become a regular volunteer or simply drop in and join the group whenever you have time, please email rameena.rahman [at] rescue.org to get started. 

Volunteer Information Sessions are NOT required in order to volunteer at our Citizenship Workshops or in our English Conversation Group.