Salt Lake City

Refugee Volunteer Programs

Be a Mentor. Be a Friend. 

There are three ways you can volunteer to work with refugees through Salt Lake City - the Refugee Family Mentor Program, the Know Your Neighbor Volunteer Program, and volunteering on a refugee community board.

The Refugee Family Mentor Program pairs volunteers with refugee families living in Salt Lake City. The families have lived in the United States for about two years and are no longer working with a case manager or staff from one of the refugee support agencies. Volunteers will help guide refugee families in areas such as education, health care, accessing local service and resources, and most importantly will be a friend. Salt Lake City has partnered with Refugee Services Office to identify families who would like to participate in the program. In 2015 and 16, we'll match volunteers with families from the Bhutanese, Burundi, Congolese, Karen, Sudanese, and South Sudanese communities. 

The Board Member Program consists of skilled volunteers that will support and work closely with a refugee community board in applying for and managing grants, non-profit management, or community development. Volunteers will offer their support, advice, and guidance to the boards. Volunteers will give a year to their board and should average about four hours of service per month. 

The SkillsShare Program pairs refugees and volunteers to focus on specific skill set development. Currently, we're looking for volunteers to help with teaching car repair, computer skills, sharing a love of a particular sport, or helping out with professional development. The SkillsShare program is open to volunteers who would like to work with one person or those who want a longer term committment and to work with several people. 

These programs are wonderful opportunities to connect with and support refugees living in our community. Our goal is to foster integration and we encourage volunteers to keep in mind that it is a two-way street. We hope refugees will feel more welcomed by the mainstream community and we hope volunteers will leave with a greater understanding of what incredible assets refugees are to our community. 

Email Amanda Anderson to get started by reading over a position description, filling out an application and signing our background check. Applicants will be invited back for a 30 minute volunteer interview. If the volunteer seems like a great match for the program, they'll be asked to attend an orientation and training session after which they'll be matched with a family or person or board and start volunteering. 

For more information, please contact Amanda Anderson (Volunteer Services Coordinator): amanda.anderson@slcgov.com. 801.535.6202 or Chelsea Eddy (Refugee Community Liaison): chelsea.eddy@slcgov.com