Volunteer with HIAS Chicago
Thank you for your interest in volunteering with HIAS Chicago. Our work would not be successful without the support of community volunteers, and we are particularly grateful for the recent outpourting of support.
*Please note that at this time, all volunteer opportunities have been filled. To learn more about volunteer opportunities with JCFS, or to add your name to the HIAS Chicago waitlist, contact Sheryl Green, Volunteer Coordinator, at SherylGreen@jcfs.org or 773.467.3746.
Descriptions of volunteer opportunities are as follows:
Welcome New Refugee Families to Chicago:
Celebrate and welcome families upon arrival at O'Hare airport. Bring signs and flowers or balloons. May include transporting the family to their new home accompanied by a HIAS Chicago caseworker.
Assist HIAS Chicago staff as they set up refugee families' apartments with furniture and supplies before their arrival.
Mentor a Refugee Family:
Help families navigate their new environments. Examples include grocery shopping together, helping to make sense of the city's public transportation system, accompanying individuals to medical or other appointments, or connecting the family to community resources. Must commit to visiting with the family at least once per week for three months.
Provide in-office interpretation as HIAS Chicago caseworkers welcome and orient newly arrived refugees, guide refugees in navigating specific tasks while translating to their native language, or accompany individuals to the US Citizenship and Immigration Service to provide interpretation during naturalization interviews. Must be available on an as-needed basis.
Tutor Refugee Youth/Teens:
Work with youth and teens with limited English skills to help them adjust to English instruction in school and practice the language for everyday use. Can be done 1:1 or in small group settings for 1-2 hours at a time, once or twice per week.
Citizenship Tutor/Mock Interviewer:
Tutor a client 1:1 in Civics and English in order to help them prepare for their citizenship exam, or engage individuals in practice interviews in order to help them prepare for their citizenship interview. These activities are scheduled on an as-needed basis, according to the clients’ and interviewees’ schedules.
Group Citizenship Class Instructor:
Instruct a series of citizenship classes in order to help individuals prepare for and successfully complete their citizenship interview and exam. Volunteers must be available to teach 2 hours/week for 8 consecutive weeks, and must first attend an instructor training.
Refugee Home Sponsorship:
Volunteer to make a house a home by covering the first three months of rent for a newly arrived refugee family.
Refugee Rental Accommodations:
Do you own a rental property and have unit(s) available to rent for refugees? Help a family create their first home in America by housing them in your building.
Do you own a business? Help a family attain self-sufficiency by volunteering to train and then employ refugee adults.