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Our Refugee Services program needs your help!

Posted by | Brittney Manchester, Communications Director

Please help us support refugee families and continue to keep Oregon a welcoming state for our newly arrived brothers and sisters. Catholic Charities of Oregon has several ways to get involved. Check out some of our volunteer opportunities with refugees and refugee families:

Transportation Support

As a Transportation Support volunteer, you will provide an essential service for our refugee clients. Lack of transportation can be a huge barrier for our families since driving is often necessary to access food, employment, community centers, healthcare, and other vital resources. By providing transportation, you will meaningfully support our clients in adapting to their new homes.

Apartment Set Up Team

As a member of the Apartment Set-Up Team, you will help prepare apartments by furnishing them with furniture and other essentials before refugees arrive in the U.S., ensuring that our clients’ introductions to their new homes are warm and welcoming. Helping with an apartment set-up is a great way to meaningfully support recently arrived refugees without a long-term commitment.

Cultural Navigators

Cultural Navigators provide regular, ongoing support to newly arrived families. Volunteers act as a mentors/guides to refugees, assisting with basic English skills, familiarizing the families with their new communities (parks, grocery stores, libraries, etc.) and orienting families to daily life in the U.S. (mail, bill paying, etc.) in an effort to ensure self-sufficiency in their new homes.

Airport Welcome Team

The refugee displacement and resettlement process can be long and difficult. On average, refugees wait six to ten years for resettlement, and when they arrive at the airport it, can be an overwhelming and confusing experience. As a member of the Airport Welcome Team, you will join Catholic Charities of Oregon at Portland International Airport to welcome new refugee families to America. Our volunteers help us greet refugee families with signs and smiling faces to make them feel welcome.

Cultural Orientation

Cultural orientation classes are a vital service provided to newly arrived clients to help them acclimate to U.S. culture, laws, and customs. Volunteer duties include assisting with individual needs of clients as they arise during class, such as providing childcare or supporting client learning throughout the Cultural Orientation process. In addition, volunteers with training or an interest in the following topics may also help our clients: community services and public assistance, transportation, financial education, housing, and employment searches. Volunteers may also help with classroom setup and tear down and crowd management. Volunteering in this position is a great way to make a meaningful impact on a client’s or family’s resettlement experience and to support self-sufficiency in their new home.

Office volunteers

Office volunteers provide administrative support to our Refugee Services program. Responsibilities may include but are not limited to: directing calls, organizing and maintaining files, and providing other assistance to office staff. Office volunteers provide essential support to our clients by helping to sustain our programs.

By giving your time and energy in service to others, you are a bridge to our community. We hope you’ll join us.

To learn more about our volunteer opportunities, please contact our Refugee Services Program at (971) 222-1883 or email refugee@ccoregon.org. You can also visit our volunteerism web page to find open opportunities.


Learn more about our
Refugee Services

Catholic Charities provides refugee resettlement and case management services to individuals and families who seek to make Oregon their new home.
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