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How to volunteer in Silver Spring

Last updated 

Update 6/06/2017:

Volunteer opportunities are posted on the IRC job board. To find volunteer positions for the IRC in Silver Spring, go to www.rescue.org/careers "Search Jobs and Apply" and then narrow your search to US-MD-Silver Spring. Please apply to all positions you are interested in participating in. If you are undecided, please fill out this volunteer application and we will invite you to an upcoming volunteer orientation where we will discuss the positions in more detail. 

Volunteer Positions:

  • Internships-All internships require availability for at least 15 hours per week between Monday through Friday 9AM-5PM. Anyone can apply for these positions. If you not currently enrolled in an academic program and are outside of 1 year of graduating from an academic program, your title would be volunteer. Internships will be posted until all vacancies are filled.
  • Family Mentor Program-Mentors make it possible for the IRC in Maryland to extend a helping hand for a longer period of time and help refugee families to create a network of support to more easily interact with the local community. Through mentorship, you serve as a refugee family’s closest ally, advocate, and guide, as well as a bridge to new resources that will assist them on their path to self-sufficiency. You will introduce them to American culture through educational, hands-on activities, and experiences. Mentorship is a two-hour per week commitment over 6 months and requires a onetime donation of $500 dollars (tax-deductible). Each mentor will receive the support of an IRC staff member. Exactly what your mentorship will look like depends largely on the interests and challenges of the refugee family and what you can offer. To sign-up or for more information, please email Samantha.Musson [at] rescue.org (subject: Family%20Mentor%20Program) .

If you are having problems filling out the Volunteer Application form above, please follow the  tips below:
•    Wait 20-40 seconds after the form loads before clicking on the first field
•    Avoid using symbols as much as possible. If there is an apostrophe in your name, do not include it in the form.
•    Try using a different web browser
If you are still experiencing issues, please contact Mark.Youmans [at] rescue.org

Here are many other ways you can help refugees arriving to the DC Metropolitan Area:

  1. Support refugee resettlement in your community. Learn about the refugee resettlement process and share IRC materials with members in your community. 
  2. GenR—short for Generation Rescue—is a group of young, influential humanitarians who have joined forces with the International Rescue Committee to help people survive conflict and disaster and rebuild their lives. Inspired, informed and influential, GenR members in DC Metro engage their communities in support of the IRC through a range of advocacy, educational, networking and fundraising activities.
  3. Donate to the IRC. The work of the IRC is only possible through the generosity of people like you. Your gift helps the IRC respond immediately and effectively to the worst crises. Ways to donate: 
  • Monetary: You can donate online to support refugees coming in to your community. 
  • In-Kind Goods: Diapers, household items, and other goods are needed to help refugee families settle into their new lives in the US. A list of needed items can be found by clicking the In-Kind Goods hyperlink above. Items can be dropped off to IRC in Silver Spring (please fill out in-kind donation form on in-kind donation page to schedule a delivery). Donations can also be made through our Amazon Wishlist
  • Fundraise:  Be creative and utilize this free IRC fundraising app. In the past volunteers have coordinated a happy hour fundraiser at their favorite restaurant, knitted and sold items donating the proceeds, and coordinated a comedy show fundraiser.
  1. Reach out to your elected officials–at the local, state, and national level. Elected officials will base the decisions they make on what they are hearing from their constituents. Call, email, and send letters to your elected officials letting them know that you support refugees coming to your community and why.  Please find a sample letter below:

Dear [Representative/Senator] [Last Name]:

I am writing to express my support for refugees and refugee resettlement to the United States. We are a nation of immigrants, and this country has a long and proud history of being a safe haven to the world’s most vulnerable. I have seen first-hand the lifesaving difference that U.S. protection has made for families who have been given the opportunity for a new life in my community, and I know my community is better for it.

I [support/volunteer with] refugees because I am proud of what this nation stands for – a place of opportunity, a beacon of hope, and a home for the persecuted. Refugee families have been through unimaginable horror, yet I have seen them show incredible resilience in their new home here. Just like you and I, these families want to work hard, send their children to school, and live life free of fear.

 I urge you to support refugees and funding for lifesaving refugee programs. 

Thank you for your service.