Catholic Charities is currently seeking volunteers for its Immigration & Refugee Assistance Program (IRAP) with an immediate need for drivers, transportation guides, and teams who can assist in setting up a safe home environment for newly arriving refugee families.
“For 100 years, Catholic Charities and the clients we serve rely on the dedication of valuable volunteers to provide a beacon of hope, especially newly arrived individuals and families who have fled traumatizing situations and are building new lives in our community,” said Drew Yates, program administrator for Catholic Charities’ Immigration & Refugee Assistance program.
Refugees resettled by Catholic Charities arrive in the United States through the auspices of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops/Migration Refugee Services (USCCB/MRS) and only after approval from the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Current needs and responsibilities include:
- Drivers: Volunteers with trucks help pick up donations from the donor’s house and drop off to Catholic Charities or to a client’s new home. The ability to lift heavy furniture and climb stairs is necessary and a clean New York State driver’s license and compliance with traffic laws are required.
- Transportation Guide: Volunteers meet with newly arrived refugees to help them learn how to use public transportation, and to show clients how to read bus schedules, route maps, and buy and use bus tickets. Experience with using Buffalo public transit is preferred.
- Good Neighbors Project: Teams of eight to 12 volunteers help create a welcoming and safe home environment for new families before they arrive. This includes collecting new and gently used furniture and household items to provide a complete home set up in Buffalo. Individuals also may inquire about this opportunity.
The ideal volunteer to assist clients is reliable, respects the rights and confidentiality of others, and has a non-judgmental approach to their volunteer responsibilities.
Additional Catholic Charities volunteer opportunities both in IRAP and other services are also available. For more information on those mentioned above or any volunteer opportunity or to request a volunteer application, please call 716-218-1450, ext. 2006 or visit ccwny.org/get-involved/