Welcome and thanks for your interest in volunteering with World Relief Chicago!
We offer unique cross-cultural volunteer opportunities that will help you build relationships with asylees, refugees, and other immigrant populations in Chicago! Our program is people-focused, meaning we'll help you explore your interests and discover your strengths while supporting you practically, spiritually, and emotionally to serve others well.
We aim to provide our volunteers with ways to connect with one another to build community, provide networking opportunities, and see the collective impact of the WRC volunteer team working together to make Chicago a more welcoming place for immigrants.
Volunteer cohorts are formed four times a year and most require a 6 month commitment. (Summer volunteers and College students may serve for a shorter period of time.)
- WINTER COHORT January through July
- SPRING COHORT April through October
- SUMMER COHORT June through December
- FALL COHORT September through March
Ready to Apply?
We are now accepting volunteers to join our Spring & Summer Cohorts!
Serve as an advocate and mentor for your refugee friend in navigating the American medical system. Assist them in getting to appointments, filling out paperwork, and making sure they have interpretation. Advocate to ensure they receive proper medical care despite cultural and language barriers. Refugee clients include single moms, those with medical or mental disabilities, or those with chronic medical conditions. Commitment: 2 - 4 hrs/week, 4 months. 3-4 daytime appointments required. Locations: Rogers Park, West Ridge, Albany Park, South Evanston, downtown Chicago, Illinois medical district. Occasional possibilities for others, such as south and west sides. Must have weekday, daytime availability and be willing to drive clients in your personal vehicle.
Youth After-School Program Volunteer
Engage with refugee youth through a fun and educational after school program designed to foster new friendships and encourage learning. Help with homework and small group games and activities. Location: West Rogers Park. Commitment: 1-2 days/week, 1 semester minimum commitment; Tues. and/or Wed., 3:45-5:30 pm.
In-Home English Tutor
Help an adult learner practice English in their home. Good for: Individuals, college students. Commitment: 2 hrs/wk, 6 months. Locations: Rogers Park, West Ridge, Albany Park, Evanston. Occasional possibilities for others, such as south and west sides.
ESL Classroom Volunteer
Help out during our daily, on-site morning ESL classes. Dependent upon current classroom needs. Location: World Relief Chicago. Commitment: 2 hours & up, per week, 6 months. Hours are Mon.—Fri., between 9 am & 1 pm.
Youth Summer Learning Program Volunteer
Serve as a mentor for refugee youth as you play, learn, and grow together. The program is divided into two 3-week sessions, one for younger youth, and one for older kids. Come ready to build friendships with refugee youth and families during the program. Commitment: 1 day a week, 3 - 6 weeks. Location: West Ridge
Youth Mentoring Team Leader
Lead of team of Youth tutors by facilitating initial meet and greet sessions between volunteer tutors and refugee families, regular check-ins with tutors and their refugee students/families, providing support and weekly communication between youth program staff and volunteers. This is a high level commitment but a great way to get a broad picture of the refugee community in Chicago! Commitment: 4 hrs/wk, one full school year or 6 months minimum. Locations: Rogers Park, West Ridge, Albany Park, Evanston, Skokie.
Medical Appointment Transporter
Are you looking for a practical way to serve the refugee community in Chicago? Many of our clients need rides to medical appointments on a weekly or monthly basis. Assist the Health and Wellness team in getting high-need refugee clients to and from their medical appointments. The volunteer will be working with a variety of refugee clients each time and receiving direction from the medical case manager who arranges all the details of the appointment. This opportunity requires occasional daytime weekday availability and can be done as your schedule allows- as much as multiple times a week or as little as once a month. No medical experience required. Must be willing to drive clients in your personal vehicle. Application, Info Session, Background Check, and Interview are all required.
Are you willing to be contacted about last minute tasks? Refugee resettlement work is often unpredictable! We have a list of approved volunteers we email for help with things like airport pickups, moving help, or providing a hot meal for an arriving family. Application, Info Session, Background Check, and Interview are all required.
ONE TIME OPPORTUNITIES:
Provide food or beverages for clients attending Citizenship Workshops at World Relief Chicago. Applicants spend several hours registering and going through the paperwork process- help make this stressful process as enjoyable as possible by providing refreshments! Great to do as a group of family or friends. For full details, visit our Hospitality Sign Up. (Application/Info Session/Interview/Background Check not required.)
Community Outreach Volunteer
Do you like being out in the community and getting to know your Chicago neighbors? We need volunteers to hand out ESL Class Registration flyers and Citizenship Workshop flyers at hair salons, laundromats, currency exchanges, restaurants, libraries, etc. in Albany Park and surrounding neighborhoods. Great for groups or individuals! We will provide the flyers and brief training instructions, over the phone or in person. Email VolunteerChicago@wr.org to sign up. (Application/Info Session/Interview/Background Check not required.)
As you prepare to get started as a volunteer, here are five things you can do TODAY:
- Gather a group of friends and read through the new edition of Welcoming the Stranger together. Use our free videos and written guide to launch your group into discussion!
- Learn how to advocate on behalf of refugees and immigrants from Refugee Council USA's advocacy toolkit.
- Visit a refugee-owned restaurant in Chicago! Download our free refugee-owned restaurant guide.
- Sign up to receive our monthly prayer guides.
- Check out our current in-kind donation needs.