Volunteer


Cultural Orientation Class Volunteer: (10am – 12pm Tuesday -Thursday)
Each fall, spring, and summer we need volunteers to assist the Cultural Orientation teacher with the class. This is the easiest way to get involved at our office and it’s fun! The Cultural Orientation Class is mix of ESL and cultural orientation topics which are required for all of our new arrivals. We talk about topics like home and health, education, finances, and jobs. It’s very hands-on and the class often goes on “field trips” around town. Volunteers will pick at least one day a week to be involved and are expected to commit to either one semester at a time or 3 months at a time. (extended volunteer opportunities with the Cultural Orientation class are available).

Teaching Public Transportation: (8:30am-1pm Tuesday – Thursday)
In order for our clients to attend the Cultural Orientation class and to gain independence and self-sufficiency we teach them how to use the public transportation system. Volunteers meet clients at their home, walk with them to the bus stop and actually ride correct bus with them to class. When class is over volunteers then ride the bus back home with the clients. Volunteers will pick one day a week to be involved and are expected to commit to either one semester at a time or 3 months at a time. Daily assignments can be split between volunteers. (one person teach the bus to class and another volunteer teach the client how to get home).

Occasional Events:
Sometimes the Refugee Resettlement office hosts events and needs volunteers for to make these events happen. In one case it might be helping to set up and tear down, or it could be providing on-site child care for parent meetings. Interested volunteers will be placed on an email list and will receive notice when events are happening.

Linking Communities
The Refugee Resettlement office strives to connect our recently arrived refugees with local Harrisonburg families/individuals to foster friendship and community. Getting to know a new town, system, and way of life can be overwhelming, and many of our families are not even aware of the opportunities and resources offered in Harrisonburg. Local community members can partner with refugee families and “show them around town”, build friendship, and offer a bit of assistance. We are always looking for local community members and/or families whom we can partner with refugee families. Volunteers would be required to make a 10-12 month commitment and must be Harrisonburg or Rockingham County residents. Families with children are welcome to consider this opportunity! Volunteers should plan on meeting with refugee families/individuals 1-3 times a month.Additional training is required for this program. For more information about this program, visit our Linking Communities page or contact linkingharrisonburg@cwsglobal.org.

In home tutors
In home tutors should have prior experience or training teaching or tutoring. These volunteers tutor adults who cannot make it to English class, or students who would like extra help with English and with school homework. Tutors work in the home and are typically assigned in pairs, so sign up with a friend! These volunteers visit their student 2 times a week for a minimum of 3 months.

All volunteers must be over 18 and are required to be dependable, responsible, punctual, comfortable in cross-cultural situations where there is a language barrier. They must also communicate well with the Church World Service Refugee Resettlement Program staff, and have the ability to work with a variety of cultures and religious backgrounds.

A Note about Fulfilling Required Volunteer Hours: If you have a set number of volunteer hours to complete for a class or assignment, thank you for considering doing those hours with our agency! However, understand that we do not always have placements readily available that will meet your needs. Our volunteer opportunities are based on the needs of our clients and the availability of our staff to train and supervise.

To apply for a volunteer position please email the volunteer coordinator at sacoleman@cwsglobal.org for a volunteer application.

Internships

A limited number of internships are offered each fall, spring, and summer and must be partnered through a university. Internships are focused on the Cultural Orientation class and teaching ESOL, or with our immigration program. Please contact us for more information.

Church World Service is a faith-based organization transforming communities around the globe through just and sustainable responses to hunger, poverty, displacement and disaster.

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