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Volunteer opportunities in Charlottesville

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The process:

  1. LEARN ABOUT US: Familiarize yourself with the IRC and volunteer opportunities in Charlottesville in the “Current Opportunities” section.
  2. APPLY: Complete a Volunteer Application online. Note: Please upload a resume or CV at the bottom of the application.
  3. IRC FOLLOW UP: Once your application has been received, the Volunteer Coordinator will contact you regarding upcoming Volunteer Orientation training dates within 10 business days.
  4. ORIENTATION: Attend a Volunteer Orientation per invitation. Before being considered for a volunteer position, all applicants must attend a Volunteer Orientation session.
  5. INTERVIEW: Applicants interested in pursuing a volunteer opportunity with the IRC will then schedule and attend a brief one-on-one interview with the Volunteer Coordinator who will assess for best potential placement options.
  6. ESL TRAINING: If applicable, attend an ESL tutor training per invitation.
  7. BACKGROUND SCREENING: Successfully complete a background check. The IRC kindly requests that volunteers contribute $35 toward the cost of this requirement.
  8. PLACEMENT: You're ready to get started! The Volunteer Coordinator will follow-up with potential placement(s). Depending on your role, you'll then either receive further training from your in-office department or wait to be matched with a family to tutor and/or mentor.

For more information, contact VolunteerCharlottesville [at] rescue.org (subject: Volunteering) .

Current opportunities:

ESL Tutoring

Help refugees improve their English! ESL tutors must be able to commit to at least two one-hour sessions per week (2-4 hours total) for a minimum of six months.  Tutoring takes place in the client’s home or another agreed-upon location. Tutors must have an excellent command of the English language. Though experience is helpful, it is not required. The IRC offers ESL training and optional curriculum as well as a limited number of additional resources. Patience and creativity go a long way in this vital, independent role.

English in the Garden

Help refugees improve their English! English in the Garden volunteers must be able to commit to at least one two-hour sessions per week for the duration of the garden season (April-October).  Instruction sessions of 3-5 volunteers take place outside at New Roots farm, and follow a curriculum of garden and market based lessons. Volunteers will work one-on-one or in small groups.  Though experience is helpful, it is not required. The IRC offers ESL training as well as a limited number of additional resources. Volunteers must have an excellent command of the English language, patience and cultural awareness. Tuesday morning or evening availability required.

New Roots

New Roots Charlottesville supports refugee food security and aids in their transition to the community through gardening, nutrition education, local food access initiatives and small business farming. IRC currently manages New Roots Farm and 4th Street Community garden as well as provides training and support to numerous additional locations. 

There are several volunteer opportunities to become involved in our New Roots programming, including weekly work-days at the Farm, June-October. Volunteer work-days are every Tuesday from 5:30-7pm at New Roots Farm (810 Old Lynchburg Rd).  They are open to all community members - children must be supervised. Please email NewRoots.Cville [at] rescue.org to RSVP. Bring water, gloves, sun-protection, and dress for the weather. Work-days will be cancelled for inclement weather.


For the IRC to best serve refugee families, we rely on community interpreters. We currently seek on-call volunteer interpreters for the following languages: Arabic, Farsi/Dari, Pashto, Swahili and Kirundi.

Resettlement Store Staff & Donations Assistants

The Resettlement Store serves as a resource for refugees’ basic necessities.  Through community donations of goods such as kitchenware, bedding and toiletries, the Store offers a reliable space to “shop” for free during the resettlement period.

  • Resettlement Store Staff greet shoppers, assist them in meeting their needs, and maintain accurate donation receipts. Resettlement Store shifts are currently Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11am-2pm.
  • Donations Assistants help on a rolling basis to receive, sort, and organize incoming donations as well as stock and tidy the Resettlement Store while it is closed.

Front Desk Staff

Front Desk volunteers are vital to IRC operations, greeting each and every person who visits the IRC. Volunteers are also answers the main phone line, receives and occasionally processes donations. Shifts vary seasonally.

Community Outreach 

Community outreach volunteers assist the IRC to plan, market and execute outreach events and fundraising events in the community. Tasks can include representing the IRC at community events, public speaking opportunities, and distributing marketing materials to community partners and message boards.  Time commitment varies.  Some weekday daytime and evening availability required.

Child Watch

Childcare is a constant need and can become a barrier to people being able to participate in some IRC programs. Child Watch is different from daycare because the parent(s) will not be leaving the premises.  Volunteers help staff supervise and engage children in activities. Volunteers must have some daytime availability. 

On-Call Roster/Transportation

Don’t have enough time to commit weekly?  Consider joining our “on-call roster.” You’ll be contacted occasionally for specific needs as they arise. You may chose to specialize in particular activities which include but are not limited to:

Appointment transportation, evening/weekend airport pick-ups and grocery store orientations, assisting families to move or picking-up donations, assisting new WIC enrollees become oriented to their new benefits, front desk, Resettlement Store staffing, and special events preparation and execution.