Help newcomers adjust to a new language, culture and environment by providing critical support. Volunteering positively impacts newcomers and you!
- Mentor with regular visits
- Create a welcoming home
- Drive to medical and other appointments
- Raise funds for the HIAS Welcome Campaign
Welcome a newcomer family or individual by visiting with them for at least six months and introducing them to the community and supporting their self-sufficiency. Assist with activities such as simple, conversational English, public transport, grocery shopping, laundry, financial literacy, technology and accessing community resources. Most visits (but not all) take place in person in a refugee’s home. Apartments are typically in far north Chicago, e.g., Rogers Park. Visitation times vary - daytime or evening – and are flexible according to schedules and the family’s preferences. Visits can be rotated amongst the volunteer group.
Apartment Setup Helper:
Create a warm and welcoming home for an individual or family by setting up household items, furniture and groceries in the apartment before their arrival. Large furniture provided by HIAS; smaller household items can be gathered by the volunteer (lists provided), or by HIAS. This is an in-person volunteer opportunity.
Drive newcomers from their homes to medical, social security and other appointments, as needed. They must be picked up from home and returned home. Appointments are typically in the north side of Chicago and will be during the day. The amount of time involved will vary depending on the appointment type and location. This is an in-person volunteer opportunity.
Raise any amount for the HIAS Welcome Campaign. Dollars raised will be used for direct financial assistance as well as to support program activities and service coordination. This includes:
- Rent and utility assistance
- Transportation assistance
- Other basic needs assistance, including clothing and food
- Translation services
- Culturally appropriate case management services to support acclimation and integration
Interested in being a co-sponsor?
Please learn more about our co-sponsor program here. Co-sponsorship offers the most comprehensive support to a family. A team of volunteers is matched with a newcomer family pre-arrival to ensure that the family has access to the necessary funds, a warm and welcoming home and to a community to welcome them, for a successful transition.
Interested in doing a donation drive? Please find ideas here to provide refugees with essential items.
Interested in Volunteering?
Contact Elana Boiskin, Community Engagement Specialist, at 847.745.5405.