Community Bagging Initiative

Bring an element of service into your next event with this group activity: Your group can support the Polack Food Bank by bagging bulk food product (e.g., rice, beans, oats) into individual portions for distribution. We will provide a ready-to-go volunteer kit with all the tools you’ll need to set up this activity, and donate these food supplies for our neighbors. To request a kit, please see complete details here and contact Volunteer Services at or (206) 861-3179.

Welcome Circles

Welcome Circles (also called “community sponsorship”) are groups of at least five individuals who come together to directly support the resettlement of newly arrived refugees.

If you are interested in forming a Welcome Circle, please visit HIAS for more details

For local assistance with a range of needs you may encounter as a Welcome Circle, please refer to the list below:

Connecting to local Afghan communities:
Afghan American Community of WA
Afghan Health Initiative
Muslim Association of Puget Sound – American Muslim Empowerment Network (MAPS-AMEN)

Interpretation and language services:
Tarjimly (free and premium service options available)
Universal Language Service

Legal services:
Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP
Human Rights First Afghan legal assistance request form

If you would like to support Afghan refugees through volunteer opportunities with JFS or are not yet ready to form your own Sponsor Welcome Circle, please follow the links below to get started.

Support the Local Resettlement Effort

Please contact for more details about each of these projects. 

  • Sponsor an apartment set up: procure all of the essential household items needed to help welcome newly arrived refugees into their new homes. Items include pots and pans, utensils, bedding, and hygiene items. We ask that these items be new for the health and safety of our new neighbors. Groups are also welcome to assist with moving in and setting up an apartment.
  • Procure furniture donations: procure large, gently used furniture items such as couches, dining tables, and chairs for newly arrived refugees and store them until the resettlement team is ready to move them into an apartment.
  • Host an in-kind drive: create and run your own in-kind drive in your community to support our new neighbors. Sample drives include coats, kid toys, diapers and wipes, and feminine hygiene items. We ask that these items be new for the health and safety of our community members.
  • Make “welcome cards”: Letters or cards are appreciated with positive, warm messages. These will be left for families once an apartment is set up for them, providing a colorful welcome from the community.

Varies depending on activity.
Remotely from home.
Refugee & Immigrant Services

Do-It-Yourself Drive

Make a difference with a creative project that directly impacts lives in our community. Contact Volunteer Services to create your own project as an individual or with a group. DIY volunteer ideas make for great b’nai mitzvah projects. For the most up-to-date needs of JFS and those we serve, please contact Volunteer Services at or (206) 861-3179.

Varies depending on activity.
Remotely from home.
All JFS programs.

Food Drive & Food Sort

The JFS Community-Wide Food Drive kicks off with announcements at Rosh Hashanah and culminates with the Food Sort after Yom Kippur. The Food Sort is an excellent opportunity for individuals, families, and groups to help the Polack Food Bank sort and organize thousands of pounds of donations. A special thank you to our dedicated volunteers and community partners who step up each year to make this all possible.