So many possibilities, so many questions!
Check out this page to answer questions you may have.
Q: How old do I have to be to volunteer?
A: All volunteers must be 18 and older. Anyone under 18 will need adult supervision while volunteering, so a parent, guardian or staff member will need to volunteer with them.
Q: Can I travel during my long-term volunteer commitment?
A: Generally, if a volunteer will be gone more than 2 weeks, we recommend one-time opportunities until one has finished traveling.
Q: Is World Relief a religious organization?
A: Yes; WRC has religious affiliations. Please read our Mission, Vision and Values to see if our organization would be a good fit for you.
Working with Refugees & Immigrants
Q: I would like to serve clients in a neighborhood close to mine. Can World Relief honor that preference?
A: Our team will take this into consideration, as it will affect your capacity to work with your refugee partner. However, it is not guaranteed that you will be paired with a client in your desired neighborhood.
Q: I would like to serve clients from a specific country, of a certain ethnicity, or who speak a specific language. Can WR honor this preference?
A: When matching volunteers with clients, the most important factors are client need and volunteer skills and availability. Certainly, God places desires on our hearts to serve people of certain ethnicities, but He also calls us to challenge ourselves to step into new paths we would have never considered before. We ask that you be flexible and willing to serve a range of clients in light of this, and ask God what He is doing in the midst of your journey.
Q: What is the application process?
A: It's the following steps: 1) application, 2) orientation, 3) interview, 4) paperwork, and 5) placement.
Q: How long does it take?
A: Around 6 - 8 weeks.
Q: Do I need to bring anything to the orientation?
A: Nope! Just your brain! :)
Q: What can I expect at the orientation?
A: Training that will prep you to serve practically, culturally and spiritually. Orientation is 3-4 hours and usually at our office.
Q: Is the orientation required?
Q: How often is it?
A: 2x a month.
Q: My schedule doesn’t allow me to come to this training. Is it held more frequently than 2x a month? Or can I watch it online?
A: Unfortunately, it's only twice a month. Due to the nature of our work, we require this training to be in person. We appreciate your understanding!
Q: Why do I need to attend a training to serve as a volunteer with World Relief Chicago?
A: Due to the nature of our work, adequate training is required.
Q: I have an extensive cross-cultural background. Can I skip the training?
A: All volunteers must complete training. Even if you are highly experienced, your presence will be helpful for other attendees, and for us to gauge your ability to communicate and share your experiences with others.
Q: Why are trainings, screenings and background checks part of the application process?
A: Not only do we value training our volunteers well, but we value intentional relationships with them. We want to meet you and get to know you! We also are responsible for anyone we introduce our clients to, and beyond that, we care deeply about them. Because our clients are new to the U.S. and do not understand social customs and norms, their safety is something we must take extra steps to ensure. In order to best serve and protect our clients, all long-term volunteers must receive a background check.
Q: Why isn't the application process shorter? I want to start ASAP!
A: In order to truly empower the Church to serve the vulnerable, it is imperative to equip and prepare our volunteers to serve well. The challenging nature of working cross-culturally with a vulnerable population requires this. Thank you for your understanding!
Wait! I still have questions. Who should I call?
If you want to learn more about World Relief, refugees and immigrants, it is likely that your questions will be covered during volunteer training.
Questions about volunteering? Contact Sara Aardema, Church Mobilizer, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 773-681-8569.
Note: Please refrain from stopping by the office unless you have an appointment. Thank you!