Volunteer With Refugees

JFS was founded in 1892 to help immigrants and refugees establish new lives in the Puget Sound region. An unwavering commitment to welcome the stranger has been part of our work ever since. There are many ways you can help today! We have do-it-yourself opportunitiesdirect service opportunities and advice on advocacy.

Contact Volunteer Services at (206) 461-3240.


Cultural Orientation Instructor

Help newly arrived refugees learn about American culture and systems. Teach groups or individuals about critical topics like financial literacy, public safety and nutrition.
Friday availability preferred
6-month commitment, 6 to 12 hours per month

ESL Tutor

Help new refugees learn English through weekly sessions, concentrating on basic and conversational English. Create your own engaging lesson plans, or use JFS tutoring materials to promote learning and cultural sharing.
Opportunities available in Kent and Bellevue
6-month minimum commitment, 2 to 4 hours per week

Family Mentor

Help a refugee family navigate their new community. Through home visits and local outings you encourage confidence and introduce American social norms that will promote independence for our families. This is a great opportunity for families!
Opportunities available in Kent
6-month minimum commitment, 6 to 12 hours per month

Job Club Assistant

Job Club helps newly arrived refugees gain the skills they need to find employment in the U.S. You’ll assist the teacher with curriculum delivery and support students who have varying English language skills to understand materials.
Opportunities available in Kent

Mentors for Refugees Who Are Highly Skilled Professionals

Tatweer is a mentorship program that helps highly skilled refugees better integrate into their professional communities. You can make a huge impact in a refugee professional’s life by donating your time and expertise as a mentor.
6-month commitment for mentors
Interested businesses, please contact us.


Contact Volunteer Services at (206) 461-3240 to schedule a time to drop-off your do-it-yourself donations.

Organize a Basic Needs Collection

Purchase items for donation or organize your friends, neighbors, school or congregation to collect these items that are always need. Drop them off at JFS, and we’ll be sure they go to resettled refugees or the other very low-income people we serve. To respect the dignity of our clients, JFS only accepts new basic needs items. Items needed include:

  • Toiletries like toothpaste, toothbrushes, bars of soap, shampoo, unscented deodorant and disposable razors.
  • Diapers are always needed, especially sizes 1, 4 and 5.
  • Warm blankets for twin and queen beds. Please note: for health and safety reasons, we can only accept new items in their original packaging.
  • Umbrellas, especially travel and compact sizes.

Assemble Household Donation Boxes

Want to make something more personal? Create theme box(es) with much appreciated necessities. This is a great project for groups – creativity is encouraged! To respect the dignity of our clients, boxes must contain only new items. Please mark donation boxes with a listing of the items inside.

  • Kitchen Boxes that could include flatware; cooking utensils like spatulas, ladles and tongs; a can opener; oven mitts; knives; and, cutting boards.
  • Bedding Boxes that could include a mattress pad, pillows (not decorative), sheet set and comforter. Twin and queen are the most needed sizes. For health and safety reasons, we can only accept new items in their original packaging.
  • Backpacks of School Supplies are always helpful. Pencils, pens, highlighters, crayons, composition books, post-it notes and spiral notebooks are good for most ages. Graphing calculators, sketch pads and USB drives are items that middle, high school and college students can use.
  • Bathroom Boxes could include towels (bath, hand, washcloth); bars of soap; shampoo; conditioner; toothbrushes and toothpaste; razors; small trash bin; deodorant; toilet paper; shower curtain and rings; and, toilet brush.
  • Household Cleaning Boxes filled with items like all purpose-cleaner, glass cleaner, powder cleanser, sponges, cloths or rags, small broom & dustpan, white vinegar and baking soda.


Both federal and state governments are critically important in refugee resettlement policy. Contact your elected officials and let them know you support refugee resettlement.


JFS works with these non-profit partners to furnish homes for newly resettled individuals and families. If you would like to donate household items or clothing, please contact one of our partners.



Upcoming Events

Parent Support Group

December 13, 2018

Kosher Food Bank

January 2, 2019

Kosher Food Bank

January 2, 2019

NAMI Family Support Group

January 2, 2019

Exploring Dignity – Tu B’Shvat: Renewal & Rejuvenation

January 7, 2019