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Section Banner: Unitarian Universalists attending a rally for the 'Stand on the Side of Love' campaign. Photo by Nancy Pierce.

Volunteer with The International Rescue Committee: From Harm to Home

About The IRC

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC offers lifesaving care and life-changing assistance to refugees forced to flee from war or disaster. At work today in over 40 countries and in 22 U.S. cities, the IRC restores safety, dignity and hope to millions who are uprooted and struggling to endure..

Rescuing Lives

Responding to crisis and restoring safety
Arriving on the scene within 72 hours of an emergency’s onset, the IRC brings urgently needed supplies and expertise to aid people caught in the midst of chaos.

Healing the sick and preventing disease
During a crisis and in its aftermath, the IRC sends teams of doctors and other experts to provide immediate health care, sanitation and clean water.

Rebuilding communities and renewing dignity
The IRC makes the long-term commitment needed to help people to restore their shattered communities and work together toward a peaceful future.

Protecting and empowering women and girls
The IRC provides reproductive health care to mothers, supports survivors of sexual violence, and creates economic opportunities for women and girls who face enormous obstacles.

Taking care of children and reuniting families
The IRC reunifies families separated by conflict and catastrophe, and provides education and recreation programs to help children recover from trauma.  

Advocating For Change

Advocating for change and taking action
The IRC brings public attention to neglected humanitarian emergencies, speaking out on behalf of the oppressed and those displaced by violence or persecution.

Resettling Refugees

Resettling refugees in a new home
The IRC enables refugees who are admitted to the United States to establish new lives and become self-sufficient, productive citizens who add to the vitality and promise of the nation.

Volunteer Opportunities in the United States

The IRC’s U.S. offices rely on volunteers to support their work helping refugees adjust to a new life in the U.S.

Volunteers work closely with IRC staff members to:

  • Tutor refugees in basic English skills
  • Help refugees write resumes and prepare for job interviews
  • Contact potential employers on behalf of refugees
  • Assist IRC staff with cultural orientations
  • Accompany refugees to various appointments
  • Pick up donated furniture and goods and deliver them to refugees’ new homes
  • Provide basic office support
  • Help staff write grants and maintain a grants database
  • Help staff with media relations and publications such as newsletters, brochures and annual reports
  • Mentor refugee families or individuals

Volunteer Locations in the United States

  • Atlanta, GA
  • Baltimore, MD
  • Boise, ID
  • Charlottesville, VA
  • Dallas, TX (Abilene, TX)
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Miami, FL
  • New York, NY (Elizabeth, NJ)
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Salt Lake City, UT 
  • San Diego, CA
  • San Francisco, CA (Oakland, CA and Turlock, CA)
  • San Jose, CA (Sacramento, CA)
  • Seattle, WA (SeaTac, WA)
  • Tucson AZ
  • Washington, DC.

See more Global Volunteer Opportunities (click on "volunteer" in the "employment type" section).

Dates & Prices

Volunteers may serve at any time, and there are no costs attached to volunteering, except those related to personal travel.

For more information feel free to visit the IRC website, or contact them at any time. In addition, you can watch more videos on their YouTube Channel, visit their blog, and/or reference their photo essays.

“Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom.”— Albert Einstein

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Wednesday, August 24, 2011.

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