Volunteer, Sponsor and Donate Household Items
The JFS Refugee & Immigrant Service Centers are in continual need of volunteers, sponsors and donors of household items to assist our refugee and immigrant clients. Here are ways you can get involved:
Mentors help recently arrived refugees become acquainted with the surrounding community and face the challenges of resettling in a new country. This is a critical period when refugees need assistance learning the basics of American life, including things like public transportation, the banking system, public schools, managing personal healthcare, conversational English and getting involved in their community. Mentors meet with an individual or a family for two hours per week during the first three months in the U.S.
For many refugees, increasing English language skills is the most significant and challenging part of resettlement. It leads to better jobs and greater independence. ESL Tutors work in the client's home or community, concentrating on conversational and survival English. Tutors can use JFS materials or create their own lessons to model correct English usage and provide supplemental help for the client's ESL class work.
The Housewarming Crew volunteers work with our Resource Developer to ensure that when clients arrive to the US, they have homes with the necessary furniture and household goods. Assistants collect needed items, pick up and deliver donations to clients' homes and help set up homes for new refugee arrivals.
If you are interested in learning more, please contact JFS Director of Volunteer Services, at (206) 861-3155. Download the Think Globally, Volunteer Locally PDF Flier.
Those interested in family reunification should review the current eligible populations for U.S. resettlement at the US State Department website.
Individuals, families or congregations interested in making a serious, rewarding, and lasting impact in their own life, as well as the life of a refugee or refugee family, should consider sponsorship. Sponsors agree to provide housing and food for an individual or family for at least the first 30 days following their arrival, and act as a liaison between refugees and their new community. If you are interested in sponsorship, please call (253) 850-4056, or (425) 643-2221 to learn more about the process.
RISC welcomes selected donations of furniture, clothing, toys and household items for newly arrived refugees. Donation pick-up is often available. See the Current Donation Needs list to find out what we need most. Call (206) 861-3150 for more information.
Occasionally, we are unable to accept certain items. In these cases, we are happy to point donors in the direction of other agencies whose services RISC and its clients depend upon:
- Eastside Baby Corner:
Accepts clothes, furnishings and toys for infants through age 12.
Provides furniture and household items to people transitioning out of homelessness. Furniture pick-up sometimes available.
- Home2Home Furniture Warehouse:
Accepts most "like-new" furniture and household items for economically challenged families (Bellevue Only).
- Charity Thrift Stores:
Goodwill, Salvation Army, St. Vincent de Paul, and Value Village