The most important aspect of a refugee’s successful acclimation to their new home is a sense of community and belonging. At ECDC-ACC, we rely heavily on our volunteers to ensure our clients feel welcomed. We encourage all who are passionate and motivated about refugee resettlement to volunteer. We will work with each prospective volunteer to find the best way they can help based on their interests, skills, and availability. 

Volunteers help in many different ways including providing transportation for clients or staffing ECDC-ACC events. The backbone of our volunteer program, however, is the First Friends Program, through which volunteers are matched with and mentor a refugee family. In this capacity they help refugees apply for jobs, navigate public transit, study English, and more. Most of all, they provide a familiar face in an unfamiliar place.

Volunteers are vital to the fulfillment of the African Community Center's mission to help refugees rebuild safe, sustainable lives in DC Metro area through supportive networks of people, services, and community activities. We welcome hard-working and passionate individuals who are committed to our mission and values.

Volunteer Opportunities

Donation Organization: Helping to organize donations in the Arlington, VA office

Transportation Program: Airport pick-ups, delivery of documents, training refugees on how to use public transportation

Resume Consultants: Resume drafting (fully virtual opportunity and flexible to your availability)

Co-Sponsorship Program: (For groups) Raising money to sponsor a family, helping to meet core requirements like signing up for social services, finding housing, and ESL enrollment. If your group is interested in this 9-month program please contact the Volunteer Coordinator at jpowell@ecdcus.org. You can learn more about the program here: https://www.ecdcus.org/get-involved/co-sponsorship/.

First Friends Program: Cultural exchange program. Helping a matched refugee or refugee family become culturally integrated into the community for a period of 3 months or more.

Steps to Get Started

Step 1: Watch this 20-minute Volunteer Orientation to become familiar with our organization.


Step 2: Fill out this application. We will be sending you a newsletter of time-sensitive volunteer needs on a monthly basis. We will reach out to you based on your scheduling availability and the needs of the programs you sign up for.

If you have questions, please contact the Volunteer Coordinator at Jpowell@ecdcus.org or the Resource Manager Ahernandez-Pardo@ecdcus.org.