6 ways to serve Charlotte’s refugee and immigrant populations

6 ways to serve Charlotte’s refugee and immigrant populations
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Be an American friend to a refugee family resettling in Charlotte.

Refugee Support Services helps refugees better assimilate to life in Charlotte by pairing them with local mentors to help them practice English, explore the city and answer questions about their new culture. The program, called Fruitful Friends, requires a minimum weekly commitment of one hour.  Apply here.

Provide out-of-school academic support to immigrant and refugee children in Charlotte.

Our Bridge works to ensure first-generation American children in Charlotte are set up for success by providing homework help, English language tutoring and hands-on educational experiences. Volunteers can work directly with students or may choose to work behind the scenes on fundraising, marketing, event coordination or advocacy. Apply here.

Help refugees settle in to their new homes in Charlotte.

The Carolina Refugee Resettlement Agency obtains and furnishes apartments so that refugees have a place to go upon arrival in Charlotte. CRRA volunteers can help set up the new homes or assist with ongoing services including driving refugees to necessary appointments, helping enroll refugee children in school and coaching students who are preparing for citizenship exams. Apply here.

Provide legal aid to prevent the exploitation of vulnerable immigrants and refugees in Charlotte.

The International House’s Ginter Immigration Law Clinic provides legal assistance to to low-income families (those earning less than 200% the federal poverty guidelines) who qualify for immigration benefits. The clinic also works with refugees and asylees without regard to income. Legal assistants volunteer 12-15 hours per week. Read the volunteer job description and apply here (most Spring 2017 positions have already been filled).

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The International House also has many more volunteer opportunities outside the law clinic, including citizenship tutors, English tutors and more. See all volunteer opportunities.

Teach sewing skills to refugee women in Charlotte.

Make Welcome, a Christian refugee art collective, provides friendship, community and entrepreneurial opportunity to refugee women by teaching them to sew. They currently have a waiting list of women interested in attending and need more sewing, transportation and childcare volunteers to accommodate the demand. Learn more and apply here.

Help refugees find employment in Charlotte.

The Catholic Charities Diocese of Charlotte has a robust refugee assistance program with multiple volunteer opportunities, including a Refugee Employment Case Manager Assistant. The volunteer assistant provides clerical support to the employment case aide, including filing and sorting records, entering statistical data, assisting clients with applications and occasionally accompanying employment staff on home visits and job interviews. Read the volunteer job description.

CCDOC has many additional refugee volunteer opportunities, including furnishing apartments, mentoring youth and creating welcome kits. See all opportunities.

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