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Items needed for refugees in San Jose

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Thank you for your interest in in-kind donations to the IRC! Community assistance with early resettlement in the form of donations is an amazing way to immediately impact the lives of newly arrived refugees, and we welcome your help.

The primary beneficiaries of IRC donated goods are refugees from all over the world who have fled their homelands after experiencing life-threatening persecution and are unable to stay or return to his or her home country.  The ability to provide a warm and welcoming home upon their arrival in the U.S. is paramount to their comfort and security. We ask that interested community members work within our capacity and requirements to ensure our resettlement efforts are comprehensive and equitable.



  1. Prior to any procurement of donations or donation drives, you must reach out and speak with your appropriate office contact. Our goal is to make sure your donations are fully utilized, and and to do so we must coordinate our efforts. The IRC retains the right to refuse any item procured without our knowledge. IRC in San Jose: VolunteerSJ [at] Rescue.org
  2. IRC does not have the ability to pick up donation items. The IRC can only accept items dropped off either at our office at a pre-arranged time or delivered directly to a clients place of residence with the help of IRC staff facilitation.
  3. The IRC is a 501c3, nonprofit organization, and as such donations can be tax deductible. After donating an item, the IRC will send you a receipt with our tax ID information and a record of the items you donated. The IRC cannot place a value on the items you donated, so there will be space on the receipt for you to input that information as you see fit.


In general, the items that are greatly appreciated and can be accepted year-round include:

  • Gift cards in $25 increments for Gift cards for grocery and ‘big box’ stores (Wal-Mart, Target, Safeway, etc.)
  • Pre-loaded Clipper cards and monthly bus passes
  • Laptops (Windows 7 or higher; cannot need repair)


Welcome Boxes

Refugees arrive to the U.S. with one or two suitcases each, and limited cash. Until they receive their basic financial assistance grant from the IRC and are connected with public benefits programs, they lack the financial means to purchase essential items for their household. Welcome packages would be given to resettled refugees upon arrival. Welcome boxes should be assembled together in one container (preferably a plastic box).

  • Five-day supply of food
  • Blanket and flat sheet
  • Shampoo and conditioner*
  • Basic cookware (pot, pan)
  • Pillow and pillowcase
  • Body wash/soap bars & deodorant*
  • Tableware (plate, bowl, cup)
  • Towel
  • Toothbrush & toothpaste*
  • Utensils (fork, knife, spoon)
  • Paper towels & toilet paper*
  • Laundry detergent
  • Feminine hygiene products*
  • Backpack
  • Reuseable water bottle
  • Ibprofen & bandaids
  • Gift cards for food/items

Hygiene Kits

In order to promote health-conscious hygiene practices, we periodically provide workshops on best practices and hygiene kits to a variety of clients.

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste*
  • Deodorant*
  • Feminine hygiene products*
  • Shampoo and conditioner*
  • Hand sanitizer*
  • Bandages*
  • Body wash/soap bars*
  • Hand soap*
  • Isopropyl alcohol*

Each kit should include all of the items listed and be in one container.

Mobility Kit

Getting to and from work can be a challenge for clients. Help them get where they’re going with a mobility kit!

Rescue Bags

Victims of human trafficking are individuals that are exploited through force, fraud, or coercion. When victims are first identified, they often need to immediately escape their living situation without any contacts or direct social support. Until the IRC can place victims in stable housing and program services, we aim to provide victims with a rescue bag of essential items they may need in the first week of recovery.Bags should include all of the listed items and preferably be inside the backpack.

  • Weather-appropriate jacket 
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste*
  • Hairbrush/comb *
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Shampoo and conditioner*
  • Hand sanitizer*
  • Undergarments*
  • Body wash/soap bars & deodorant
  • Pajamas
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Towel
  • Ibprofen & bandaids*
  • Granola bars*
  • Phone charger/battery
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Backpack

The IRC will only take items that are in NEW* or LIKE NEW condition. All items will be inspected upon drop off and each office retains the right to refuse any items.

*By law, some items must be new.