Resettling refugees in the Capital Region involves the dedication and generosity of many people and organizations. Community members collaborate with USCRI Albany in countless ways to help refugee families rebuild their lives in the Capital Region. What skills or resources can you offer as a volunteer, donor, or community partner? Learn more below about how to join your neighbors, local businesses, and other organizations to support local refugees.
Volunteer to Help Refugees in Our Community
USCRI Albany’s wonderful volunteers find themselves performing fulfilling activities when they devote their time to our clients and mission. By giving of yourself, you will not only help a family to make a smooth transition into their new home, but you will also make them feel welcome—even if you don’t speak the same language! As a volunteer, you play an integral part in the refugee resettlement process. Whether you can commit to ten hours per week or ten hours per year, you will make a real difference in the lives of local refugees!
There are many ways to show your support to the Capital Region's refugee community. How you get involved depends on your skills, interests, and availability. Volunteer opportunities include:
- Patient Navigator Volunteer: Provide transportation & advocacy for essential health appointments.
- Front Desk Volunteer: Engage with clients and staff in the USCRI office
- Housing Helper: Help set up apartments for new arrivals, sort donations in our warehouse, and/or collect donations of furniture and household goods (business hours)
- Interpreter/Translator: Provide translation or interpretation services. Primary languages needed include Burmese, Karen, Karenni, Chin, Arabic, Nepali, and French.
- Community Engagement: Help to plan outreach and fundraising events, coordinate volunteers and special programs
- Fundraiser: Host an event to raise donations for the work we do
Internships are also available, with a minimum commitment of 12 hours per week for at least 3 months (generally a semester or summer); school credit can be arranged. See current internships positions and learn how to apply on our Internship page. You can also look at our Idealist.org page for current openings.
For more information on volunteer or internship opportunities, email info[at]uscri-albany.org.
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Community groups, businesses, local government, faith-based centers, student clubs, and other providers help to build a welcoming community for refugees in the Capital Region every day. Support ranges from special projects and events, to collaborative programming, to additional services offered to meet refugees' needs. By understanding the scope of USCRI’s role as a refugee resettlement organization and coordinating to prevent duplicated services, USCRI Albany and service providers in the community can focus on their strengths to maximize their impact.
USCRI Albany invites local businesses and organizations to learn more about refugee resettlement and get involved in the following ways:
- Encourage your staff or members to volunteer – individually or in small teams – as refugee mentors or to help prepare apartments for new arrivals
- Invite USCRI Albany to provide training on refugee resettlement to your staff or members
- Organize a donation drive
- Sponsor an event, like our Annual World Refugee Day
- Mentor refugees as they prepare to enter the American workforce
- Participate in networking and collaboration through the Capital Region Refugee Roundtable
- Provide space for English classes, workshops, or special events for refugees
- Donate food or supplies from your business for a special event
- Donate office furniture
USCRI Albany is pleased to acknowledge our partners and highlight their contributions to local refugees through social and traditional media outlets, print publications, and other avenues. To explore ways your organization or business can welcome new community members, contact Jen Barkan at (518) 459-1790, ext. 8015 or info[at]uscri-albany.org.
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Your in-kind donations help refugees to start their new lives with all of the essentials. USCRI Albany depends on contributions of new and gently used furniture, linens, and house wares to furnish and equip refugees’ first homes in the United States.
See our Accepted Donations Page for a complete list of accepted items, or check out our high priority list below. As a nonprofit, donations to USCRI Albany are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law. You can complete the Donation Record Form in advance of dropping off your donations or fill out the form on-site. Donations are generally accepted Monday-Thursday, 10am-3pm, at our Albany office. If you have a larger item to drop off, please contact us in advance to make arrangements. We can sometimes arrange to pick up high priority items in or very near the city of Albany.
High Priority Donated Items Include:
- Kitchen essentials (pots, pans, dishes, glasses, silverware, etc.)
- Housekeeping essentials (broom, mop, cleaning supplies)
- Pillows (new), sheets, and blankets
- Dining tables and chairs
- Winter coats, boots, hats, scarves, and mittens
- Gift cards to grocery or home furnishing stores
- CDTA bus passes to help refugees get to English classes and jobs
We cannot accept: Sectional or sleeper sofas, clothing (except for winter outerwear), televisions, or non-essential items. Please do not donate items in need of repair or in poor condition. We do not have a drop-off box, so items can only be received during regular office hours.
See a full list of goods needed >>
Please contact us with any questions about in-kind donations.
Organize a donation drive:
Local groups ranging from scout troops to state government offices, faith-based groups, and college clubs have organized donation drives to support refugee families.
- In the fall and winter, USCRI Albany focuses on collecting winter goods, including new and gently used winter coats, boots and outerwear, and warm blankets
- Throughout the year, groups can collect the small necessities for new refugees. See our New Arrival Welcome Kit for ideas of what is needed for each family
- Volunteers have organized Garden Parties, asking friends to donate goods or gift cards to help local refugees
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USCRI Albany puts your contributions to work here in the Capital Region. Your generous donation to USCRI Albany will enable us to continue to meet refugees at the airport, find and furnish their apartments, enroll their children in school, and fulfill other essential services to newcomers. Your gift will allow USCRI Albany to help refugees obtain employment that makes them self-sufficient, contributing members of our community. Your kindness will ensure that those fleeing countries like Iraq, Burma, and Bhutan have the same opportunities that many of our ancestors were fortunate enough to find when they arrived on these shores.
Ways to donate:
- Online: To make a secure online gift, just click here and select USCRI Albany from the list
- By Check: Mail your check to USCRI Albany at 991 Broadway, Suite 223, Albany, NY 12204
- Via Phone: If you prefer to make a credit card gift via phone, please call Jenelle Eli at (703) 310-1166
- Matching Gift Programs: Many businesses offer matching gift programs to maximize their employees' gifts to nonprofit organizations. To find out if your employer makes matching gifts, contact your Human Resources department
- Host a Fundraising Event: Organize a house party or other fundraising event to benefit USCRI Albany! Contact Jen to discuss this option at jbarkan [at] uscri-albany [dot] org.
- Payroll deduction
- Federal Employees: Make a donation through the the Combined Federal Campaign. USCRI's CFC number is 66504
- New York State employees: Make a donation through the New York State Employee Federated Appeal. USCRI’s SEFA number is 999-00728
- United Way Appeal: If your workplace runs a campaign with the United Way of the Greater Capital Region, you can mark your donation to go directly to USCRI Albany
USCRI is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. All donations to USCRI are tax-deductible. USCRI is an accredited charity with the Better Business Bureau, GuideStar, and complies with the self-certification guidelines of InterAction. USCRI's Federal Employee Identification Number (EIN) is 13-1878704.
Program Expenses: 97%
Management /General: < 1%
View USCRI's Disclosure Statement >>
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