Open Doors for Refugees is a volunteer-driven organization. Every person that steps up to help is doing a large part!

Please email [email protected] if you’re interested in volunteering!

Current Volunteer Needs

Warehouse Co-Coordinator

One of the main services ODFR provides for clients is setting up fully-furnished apartments that they can move into upon arrival to Madison. This volunteer position will work closely with our other warehouse coordinator to organize and inventory larger furniture pieces in our warehouse space. This volunteer will also communicate with other donation and move-in volunteers on needs, constraints, and availability of pieces to ensure smooth donation pick ups and apartment set-ups. Sometimes, this volunteer may be asked to pick up furniture pieces that cannot be scheduled into our regular pick-ups so the ability to help lift and move heavier pieces (like a dresser or couch) is useful. If you have a pick up truck or larger vehicle, this is also helpful but not required. A volunteer in this position can expect 2-3 hours of work per week.

ESL Team Leader

We are seeking an ESL Team Leader to support English language learners with homework and language practice. The team leader will coordinate with partners at Madison College and Literacy Network to pair volunteers with adult learners for one-on-one engagement. While our mission is to support refugees, this team mostly works in support of existing school programs and therefore volunteers may be paired to work with English language learners outside of the refugee community. If you have experience in secondary language acquisition or enjoy coordination and planning, please reach out to [email protected] to learn more.

Social Media Manager

We are looking for a social media savvy individual to help us create and manage a consistent flow of content across our social channels, primarily Instagram and Facebook. Our social platforms currently serve as a place to share ODFR announcements and events, but we see an opportunity to tell more stories and further educate and inform our community. If you like writing, communicating, and storytelling, and are familiar with Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms, you would be a great fit! We currently have a social media volunteer who can help get you up to speed with these content writing and social media management tasks. Responsibilities / tasks include:
- Responding to comments and direct messages / forwarding these to others in the organization.
- Post scheduling and monitoring. - Engaging with and sharing content from relevant accounts.
- Repurposing existing blog/website/newsletter content into social media graphics/posts.
- Keeping up-to-date on relevant current events/news.
Please email [email protected] for more information or to express interest in this role.


The transportation team provides rides to newcomers to help them get to appointments, classes, events, etc. This team is particularly critical during the first 90 days of the arrival of newcomers as they have a number of appointments that they must attend. Most of these volunteer opportunities take place weekday mornings and afternoons. Volunteers complete a standard background check with an additional Driver’s check.


Our move-in team is seeking individuals with weekday morning and afternoon availability who own trucks or who are comfortable doing heavy lifting (couches, dressers, etc.).

Get in Touch

Open Doors for Refugees is a volunteer-driven organization, and we exist entirely on the strengths and efforts of our volunteers.

To get involved, please either use the form on this page or contact our volunteer coordinator at [email protected], and indicate within your email which team(s) you are interested in.

Our volunteer coordinator will then connect you with the appropriate team leaders and, if necessary, start a background check for you. If you have a particular skill set that you believe would be of benefit to Open Doors for Refugees, please indicate that within your message as well.

We are always happy to try and find creative ways to leverage the unique skills of our volunteers!

Girl Scout Troop #2593 gives children's care packages to refugees
Girl Scout Troop #2593 gives children’s care packages to refugees

    Background Checks

    To maintain the safety and security of the populations we work with, all volunteers who are 18 or older and will have direct contact with refugees or sensitive information must complete a background check. We contract with Sterling Volunteers, a secure online agency, to perform all background checks. More information about Sterling Volunteers can be found on their website: www.sterlingvolunteers.com. Individuals involved in the transportation team are required to undergo an additional driving record check, which is done in conjunction with the background check.

    Other Ways You Can Help

    Please email [email protected] if you think you can help in any of the following ways!
    (or if you have any questions)

    Employ Refugees

    Greatest need: Entry level positions for persons with limited English proficiency.

    Partner With Us

    If you or your group or organization would like to discuss a joint project or event, we would too.

    Provide Housing

    If you own rental properies, we’d be happy to start a conversation.

    Legal Assistance

    Do you represent a law firm that would like to work pro-bono for refugees in need of legal assistance?


    One of the best ways to help Open Doors for Refugees is by advocating for refugees and their rights.  You may read Open Doors’ response to President Trump’s executive order here.

    Here are some great resources to learn about advocating for refugees the local, state, national, and international levels.

    Thank you for your interest, support, and engagement. We hope that you find any involvement with Open Doors for Refugees to be a gratifying and enriching experience.