Volunteer with ACC-DC

Our volunteers, supporters, and corporate partners are critical to accomplishing our mission.

We have a variety of volunteer opportunities depending on your availability, skills, and desired length of commitment. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team by emailing volunteer@ecdcus.org.

A volunteer working with staff at Refugees' First Thanksgiving

Volunteer Opportunities

Office Volunteer

The Office Volunteer will assist with a diverse array of tasks in one of our two offices.

Depending on the demands of any given day, this volunteer has the opportunity to collaborate with various teams and refugees, provide essential administrative support, or help with on site events and organizing donations. The multifaceted role is pivotal in ensuring the smooth functioning of our nonprofit, which is ardently committed to supporting refugees. This position promises not only daily variety but also the profound satisfaction of making a meaningful impact.

File Organization: Assist teams organize both electronic and physical files, ensuring easy accessibility, proper labeling, confidentiality protocols, updated information and secure storage.

Administrative Support: Offer help with everyday office tasks such as photocopying, printing, sorting mail, making calls to clients, and other administrative activities

Donation Room Organization: Organize the donation room, ensuring items are neatly sorted, cataloged, and primed for distribution. Support inventory management and help recognize donor contributions.

Event Assistance: Lend a hand in the planning and implementation of organizational events, workshops, and meetings during office hours.

First Friends

Welcome to First Friends, where we redefine the meaning of a warm welcome.

As a First Friend, you begin your volunteer experience with the heartwarming gesture of welcoming the refugee and their family at the airport.

  • First Friends can be individuals or a family who are matched with a refugee family to provide support as they navigate their integration journey into the community.
  • You are their first point of contact in their new home, extending a hand and a friendly smile as they begin their integration into the community.
  • Your commitment is about providing genuine support and fostering a sense of belonging in a way that caters to each unique family’s needs.
  • In this capacity First Friends can help refugees learn about their new surroundings, seek resources, learn about local school systems, navigate public transit, study English, and more!
  • The goal is to cultivate a reciprocal relationship, where both parties learn and teach from each other.
  • Volunteers are encouraged to spend time with the family, with a commitment of at least three months to establish an emotional bond.

Support from ACC-DC Metro is available, including communication with a Case Manager to understand the family’s background and ongoing assistance. Volunteers must undergo a clearance process, including a background check, before being assigned to a refugee family.

Youth Mentorship & Training

Join our volunteer program to empower refugee youth in our community.

Provide a refugee mentee with crucial support, mentorship, academic assistance, and guidance on exploring various career paths.

  • Through this program, you’ll serve as a mentor/tutor, guiding young individuals as they navigate education and integration challenges.
  • Your role involves offering academic and professional assistance, developing life skills, and fostering cross-cultural understanding.
  • Together, we create a nurturing environment that promotes education, integration, and resilience, ultimately helping refugee youth achieve their full potential in both education and future careers while learning about diverse career paths.
  • Youth mentors work with their mentees in a one year long commitment, meeting virtually or in-person for at least 4 hours per month

Volunteers must submit a resume and complete a background check and training prior to their match.

Corporate Volunteering

Our Corporate Volunteering Program offers companies and groups of employees the opportunity to engage in meaningful activities that directly benefit newly arrived refugees in the community.

Whether you’re a group looking to volunteer, or a company interested in organizing a collaborative event, we invite you to connect with our team to explore volunteering opportunities and discuss how we can collectively support refugees on their journey to a brighter future and create positive change in the community.

We offer flexible scheduling options to accommodate employees’ work commitments and opportunities for one-time events, ongoing commitments, and virtual volunteering!

English Language Learning (ELL) Support

Work with our team to support refugees learning English through individual tutoring or in a class setting.

One of the key tools for refugees as they navigate their new home is learning and improving their English. Our Arlington office offers free classes at the Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced levels. Volunteers can serve as one-on-one tutors or as instructors for classes. Some classes are offered in the evenings and/or online.

  • Tutors work directly with clients who are very passionate about receiving English practice. Schedules will be set by the tutor and their refugee match.
  • Instructors work with our ESL Coordinator to help run regular weekly classes for our community.
  • TESOL certification and ESL experience is a plus, but passion is required!

Volunteers complete a background check and training prior to start.

Co-Sponsorship

Interested in the long welcome?  Learn more about how to support refugee resettlement agencies through co-sponsorship of a refugee family for 9 months.

Other

While many of our volunteers fit into predefined roles, the work of refugee resettlement can be unpredictable. We often learn of unique individual client needs for community support that do not fit into the categories above. As such, we also have opportunities where volunteers can step in to assist refugee families with needs as they emerge. From driving a refugee to a doctor’s appointment, assisting with English language practice, to guiding clients on navigating public transportation, the scope of this often-needed support is as diverse as it is impactful.

These volunteer opportunities are not always regular or scheduled but are incredibly valuable, filling gaps that make a world of difference to our clients and organization as a whole. If you’re flexible, adaptable, and eager to assist in diverse ways, you can email volunteer@ecdcus.org.

To stay informed about these opportunities and new ones as they arise, so you can assist to better support the recent arrivals in our community, sign up for our newsletter below. Your involvement could be the helping hand that a refugee needs on their journey to a new beginning.

Interested in becoming a volunteer? Click the link below to apply!

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