Through the IRC in Oakland’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 Bay Area. We currently operate several highly effective programs designed to meet a variety of refugee and asylee newcomers' needs.
We provide our clients with initial resettlement, job placement & career development assistance, financial literacy training, health & medical support, cultural orientation, community garden access, food-security & nutrition education, 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 5:00 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.
Annually the IRC Oakland hosts highly experiential internships that demand intuitive, motivated, and professional candidates. Internships require a minimum 15-20 hour commitment for 4-6 months. For a full list of internships check out our internship page.
Assist our caseworkers in teaching refugee clients how to navigate U.S. systems. Train clients on public transportation and complete grocery store orientations, take clients to the DMV to obtain their state ID, apply for Low Income Heat and Energy Assistance through PG&E, complete applications and attend appointments for Women Infants and Children (WIC), accompany clients to health screenings, be an on-call driver for clients who live further out (e.g. San Pablo, Antioch or Hayward).
Commitment: At least one 4 hour shift on Monday-Friday between 9:00-5:00 p.m. Volunteers would be trained in one or two particiular activity areas. Volunteers would need to be available to come into the Oakland office to coordinate with caseworkers once a week.
Administration and Finance Support
Ensure the efficient operation of all of our programs and client services by supporting our administration and finance staff. Assist with check processing; research, follow-up on and resolving outstanding checks; assist in inventory and procurement of supplies; monitor and maintain common areas of the office; troubleshoot IT issues as they arise.
Commitment: We require an energetic individual who is available on Monday, Wednesday or Thursday between 9:00-4:00 p.m.
Client Coordination Support
Help manage the front desk by greeting clients and helping them access services and staff. 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.
Commitment: We offer morning shifts from 8:30-12:30 and afternoon shifts from 12:30-4:30 on the front desk.
Help refugees achieve measurable, long-term economic self-sufficiency. Offer one-on-one support around career development (moving from survival to professional jobs) and personal financial management).
Commitment: Minimum commitment is 2 hours per week for a minimum of six months. Mentorship is based on the mentor and mentee's schedules and can be done on weeknights and weekends.
Attend an Informational Session
Due to the high volume of people reaching out, we are currently prioritizing volunteers who have weekday availability between Monday-Friday from 9:00-5:00 p.m We do have a significant waitlist for volunteer opportunities at the moment. All volunteers must attend an Informational Session prior to review of their application. You can register here for the session on March 30th from 5:30-7:00 p.m. We encourage any potential volunteers who do not have weekday availability to view our How Can I Help or Take Action page before signing up for an Info Session.
For more information, contact Kristen.Borash@rescue.org.