Current Volunteer Needs
Donation Pick Ups
The Donations Team is in need of people to help with donation pick ups. These typically occur twice a month, though some pick ups are skipped if our warehouses are full. Pick ups occur every second Tuesday morning and every fourth Wednesday evening. In winter, pick ups are in the mornings to avoid icy and dark conditions. Pick ups are done by small teams recruited from our pool of volunteers and usually require about 2-4 hours of time. Volunteers should expect to help carry heavier items such as sofas, loveseats, dressers, coffee tables, nightstands, etc. After picking up donations at each donor\'s home, volunteers will bring the furniture and household items to one of our warehouses to store until we set up our next apartment. These pick ups enable us to furnish apartments for our newly arrived refugee neighbors!
The Translation Team is seeking Arabic, Pashto, Dari, and/or Swahili speakers to translate short documents a few times per month. There is also occasional interpretation needed in person or on Zoom. The time required for this is 1-2 hours/week with flexibility to fit your schedule.
Our Skill Building team is looking for a handful of committed volunteers who would like to help administer mini-grants to refugees pursuing skill enhancement activities in a broad range of areas. The grants may include requests for driving lessons, English classes, equipment for small businesses, GED tests, college coursework, etc. Applicants may also request funds to cover transportation or child care expenses in order to attend courses or enroll in a program. Grant awards pay up to 75% of funds requested, or up to a maximum of $3,000 as long as funds last. We are looking for volunteers to work one-on-one with applicants to support these goals when it is helpful and desired. Volunteers will also help to review applications and discuss adjustments to the program as needed. Volunteers that speak Arabic, Pashto, Dari, and/or Swahili are especially desired.
Social Media Coordinator
Child Care Team
We are seeking one or two individuals to provide child care for children of the women participating in a refugee support group on Thursdays from 10-12pm on the north side of Madison.
Pick Up Trucks
If you own a truck and/or trailer and are interested in volunteering, we are looking for people to assist in the pick up and delivery of items such as bicycles. For more information, please email email@example.com!
We are seeking a few volunteers to join this newly formed team to seek out grants, prepare and write grant applications, and develop and implement a fundraising strategy. Experience in non-profit grant writing and fundraising is a plus, but not a requirement. This would require availability to meet virtually with other members of the team on a regular basis.
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.).
We are seeking 2 Volunteer Coordinators to co-lead the engagement of new volunteers interested in joining the exciting programs of Open Doors! Responsibilities include: tracking current volunteer needs of the organization, maintaining the volunteer page of the website, conducting background checks, responding to email inquiries, finding the right role for interested volunteers, hosting regular volunteer orientation sessions, and coordinating with other team leaders to recruit and retain a healthy number of volunteers. Ideally the Volunteer Coordinators would also join ODFR\'s Leadership Council, a group of decision makers that meet monthly to discuss key issues for the organization. Volunteer coordination is a key function for the successful operation of ODFR and we aim to actively celebrate the contributions of all volunteers. If you\'re interested in this role and the important behind-the-scenes work it takes, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Get in Touch
Open Doors for Refugees is an all-volunteer 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@example.com, 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!
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 OpenDoorsForRefugees@gmail.com if you think you can help in any of the following ways!
(or if you have any questions)
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.
If you own rental properies, we’d be happy to start a conversation.
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.
- Office of Refugee Resettlement: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/orr
- Refugee Admissions Program: https://www.state.gov/refugee-admissions/
- UN Refugee Agency: http://www.unhcr.org/en-us
- Welcoming Refugees: http://www.welcomingrefugees.org/
- Refugees International: https://www.refugeesinternational.org/
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.