Interested in volunteering with HIAS Immigration & Citizenship? Contact us at Volunteers@JCFS.org.
Get Involved in our Citizenship program!
Help individuals prepare for their citizenship interview and exam.
- Instruct a series of group citizenship classes
- Tutor individuals in Civics and English
- Conduct mock (practice) interviews
- Translate documents
Group Citizenship Class Instructor:
Instruct a series of citizenship classes, on Zoom, in order to help individuals prepare for and successfully complete their citizenship interview and exam. Volunteers must be available to teach two hours/week for twelve consecutive weeks and must first attend an instructor training.
Citizenship Tutor/ Mock Interviewer:
Tutor a client, in-person or on Zoom, in Civics and English to help them prepare for their citizenship exam and engage in practice interviews to help them prepare for their citizenship test. These activities are arranged as needed according to volunteer/client availability. There is also an opportunity to participate in set mock interview programs a few times a year. Volunteers must first attend a training.
Translator (Spanish - English):
Translate clients’ documents, for example birth certificates, from Spanish into English, and program informational materials from English into Spanish. This is a remote volunteer opportunity.
Get Involved in our Refugee Resettlement program!
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 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
You can learn more about our refugee resettlement program here.