Volunteering with Portland Refugee Support Group is a way for people to invest their time and talents for a higher purpose – serving others in their local communities.
Volunteers gain a sense of satisfaction in knowing they are touching the lives of their new neighbors. Every task, no matter how small, adds to PRSG’s mission.
PRSG coordinates with the major resettlement agencies. Most agencies only receive funding to support the refugees for 6 months with limited services. And if a member of the refugee family finds employment before the 6 month period, the resettlement agency will close their file and discontinue services. This 6 month period, or less, usually isn’t enough for most refugees to gain the skills they need to succeed, leaving them to fend for themselves and their families, often with limited to no English skills, limited income, and a limited understanding of the culture. PRSG picks up where those agencies leave off. PRSG works with the families on any services they could possibly need such as housing, employment, education, benefits, legal, social, medical, financial, transportation, etc.
You can choose one or more of our volunteer positions.
You will be assigned to a refugee family. You will visit the family once a week and help them meet their varying needs. There are tasks that every family will need help with, especially at the beginning of their transition; these include, but are not limited to: making appointments, arranging for interpreters and transportation, teaching families how to use the buses and trains, and showing them where to purchase cost effective food and clothing. At PSRG we offer a customized approach for each family, so while your tasks may vary, your impact never will.
You can join at least 1 of the 6 committees of your choice, manage or assist in a program / project, or be involved in administrative work. Committees include: Benefits, Careers, Education, Finance, Housing, and Social. You will have the opportunity to combine your own expertise with the needs of the committee or program you join. Example projects: you could join the housing committee and help identify in need client families and assist them in applying for Section 8 Housing or applying for Habitat for Humanity; you could join the Education committee and help assure all client children are enrolled in school and educational issues are being addressed. You would also work with core volunteers to make sure the families have all the support they need.
You will help when PRSG puts on special events and programs. Your duties will vary and include tasks such as: helping set up the tables and chairs, assisting client families at events, taking photos, transporting clients and goods, interpreting for families and much more. Of course, you can choose which duties you're able to do. Our regular events include: a psycho-social event (monthly/every other month), a bake sale (every other month), and special occasion events. Our on-going program is a monthly care-package distribution.
You would be tutoring both families or individuals, adults or children, once per week. Most of your time will likely be focused on tutoring English to our client families, but there are also times where you may be helping the children with their school work. You may be working with the families in their homes or in a group setting. The goal is to help families improve and feel confident in their use of the English language to help them integrate into American society with greater success.
Please fill out the form below to join our amazing team.