Thank you for your desire to assist refugees in our community by volunteering at the International Rescue Committee in Tucson. Volunteer support is an integral part of the IRC's mission to provide opportunities for refugees to thrive in America, and we are excited to partner with you along the way. Take a look through our volunteer opportunities and consider which may be the best match for you.

Please note the IRC takes great care to ensure our volunteers are properly screened, trained and placed in opportunities. It may take up to two months to get placed. The IRC in Tucson has a number of different volunteer opportunities available within all programs of our organization. Please take note that all positions posted may not be available at all times. 

The Process:

  1. Get to Know the IRC: The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC offers lifesaving care and life-changing assistance to refugees forced to flee from war or disaster. The IRC is at work in over 40 countries and 30 U.S. cities, including Tucson. Learn more about the resources which the IRC in Tucson provides to newly arrived refugee families by attending our next Volunteer Information Session.
  2. Select a Volunteer Position: We encourage all prospective volunteers to attend a Volunteer Information Session. These short meetings will give an in-depth look at each volunteer position and allow you to ask questions to determine which may be the best fit based on your interests and passions. RSVP to [email protected]. You can also view our current volunteer positions below.
  3. Fill out an Application: If you are ready to join the IRC as a volunteer, fill out an application online. Please note which volunteer position you would like to explore.
  4. The Volunteer Coordinator at IRC Tucson will contact you to set up a brief interview.
  5. Complete a background check. The IRC kindly asks volunteers to consider a suggested donation of $50 to help us toward the cost of this requirement. Note: In addition to the background check, some volunteer opportunities require a valid Arizona Fingerprint Clearance Card. Before applying, ensure that the suggested opportunity indeed requires a Fingerprint Clearance Card. Fingerprint Clearance Cards are valid for five years and offer clearance for the carrier to work with a multitude of vulnerable populations, not just IRC clients. New fingerprint clearance card applicants should apply under ARS 46-141.
  6. You're ready to get started! Depending on your role, you'll either receive further training from your in-office department or wait to be matched with a family to tutor and/or mentor.

Volunteer Opportunities:

Community Garden Assistance

Volunteers work with refugee clients participating in the Nutrition and Food Security Program to grow their own produce, gain agricultural skills and maintain their own garden plots.

Requirements: Able to work outdoors and in a limited-English environment. Must be able to do some lifting and engage in physical activities. 

Minimum Commitment: 2 hours/ week for 4 months; schedule is set by the Nutrition and Food Security Coordinator.

Center for Well-being Program Assistance

Health and wellness includes both physical and mental well-being. The IRC’s Center for Well-Being provides services that promote wellness and ensure access to healthcare services that address physical and psychological needs. Volunteers will work with the Licensed Clinician to schedule medical, mental health and specialist appointments for program participants, assist participants with transportation for appointments and services as necessary, and assist with projects and administrative duties as assigned by the Clinician.

Requirements: Ability to maintain confidentiality regarding client information; Strong cross-cultural communication skills, teamwork and flexibility.

Minimum Commitment: one 8-hour day per week for 4 months.

Family Mentor/ESL Tutor 

Volunteers are paired with a refugee family and visit their home once a week to help them learn about new community resources (public transportation, grocery stores, library), practice important life skills (attending appointments) and improve English skills.  

Requirements: Able to work independently to identify and address client needs in a limited-English environment.

Minimum Commitment: 2 hours/ week for 4 months; set a consistent schedule to visit on an evening or weekend

Training Instructor: Job Class / Cultural Orientation 

Volunteers work closely with staff to provide services and facilitate classes that reinforce client self-sufficiency,  job readiness and community integration.  Various classes and activities occur throughout the work week, including: Vocational English, Civics, Public transportation, Bicycle safety, Sign language, Financial education and Job Search.

Requirements: Comfortable in an English-learner classroom setting. Patience, creativity, teamwork, flexibility, and laughter. Proficiency in related skills.

Minimum Commitment: 2-4 hours/ week for 4 months; most classes occur during business hours (M-F; 8:30am-5pm)

Job Readiness Training Class: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 1 pm - 3 pm

Cultural Orientation: Monday and Friday 10 am - 3 pm

Receptions Services 

Volunteers assist in managing the front desk/reception area by greeting clients and refering them to appropriate staff within the organization. Volunteers may also assist with distributing and tracking in-kind donations.

Requirements: Strong cross-cultural communication skills, keen attention to detail, ability to multi-task. Enjoys meeting new people.

Minimum Commitment: 3-4 hours/ week for 4 months during business hours (M-F; 8:30-5pm)

Morning Shift: Monday-Friday 9 am - 12 pm

Afternoon Shift: Monday-Friday 1 pm - 5 pm

Resettlement Store and Donations Support 

Assist the Resource Development staff in bringing and organizing community resources and distributing them to clients. Can include: planning donation drives or fundraising events; organizing the Resettlement Store and distributing in-kind donations to refugee clients during Open Hours.

Requirements: Volunteers must possess excellent interpersonal skills, organizational skills, patience and cross-cultural communication skills.

Minimum Commitment: 2-4 hours/ week for 4 months

Resettlement store Assistance: Tuesdays from 2 pm to 4:30 pm and Fridays from 10 am to 12:30 pm

Resettlement store Organization: Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. Flexible schedule.

Donation Transportation Support

Volunteers help the Development Coordinator with donation collection, donation distribution, & community outreach.

Requirements: Volunteers must possess excellent interpersonal skills and be innovative thinkers. Have access to a large vehicle.

MinimumCommitment:  At least once a month for 4 months

The IRC may coordinate efforts with skilled professionals willing to donate their time as independent contractors. Discuss your ideas with an IRC staff member and don’t be afraid to dream big.