USCRI: U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants

Community Connections

Volunteer to Help Refugees in Our Community

Resettling refugees to Erie from cultures around the globe involves the dedication and generosity of many people.  IIE’s volunteers find themselves performing incredibly fulfilling tasks when they devote their time to our clients and our mission.  By giving of yourself, you will not only help a family make a smooth transition into their new home, but you will make them feel welcome—even if you don’t speak the same language!  Whether you commit ten hours per week or ten hours per year, you will make a real difference in refugees’ lives.  Take the first step towards participation by calling Jeff Brooks at (814) 452-3935, ext. 2021 or email jbrooks[at]

There are many ways to use your skills to help refugees.  How you get involved depends on your interests and availability.  Volunteer opportunities include:

Refugee Services

  • Greet refugees as they arrive at the airport
  • Gather and organize household donations 
  • Prepare apartments for newly-arrived refugees 
  • Teach refugees to use the transportation system, the public library, the Caring Closet, etc.
  • Help refugees prepare to get a driver’s permit


  • Teach life skills (such as shopping, cooking, cleaning, etc.) to refugee families
  • Tutor refugees in English 
  • Teach a refugee basic computer skills 
  • Help a refugee family prepare nutritious, affordable meals

Learning Center
A current medical physical is required for all learning center workers

  • Arts and Crafts
  • Childcare Assistance 
  • Story time 
  • Teach English

Language Services

Administrative Support

  • Answer phone calls
  • Assist Case Managers 
  • Fundraise 
  • Collect gently used donated furniture

Community Outreach

  • Raise awareness about refugees in the Erie region
  • Promote refugee employment 
  • Assist with organizing special events like World Refugee Day and multicultural celebrations

Call Jeff Brooks at (814) 452-3935, ext. 2021 to get started!

In-Kind Donations

Your in-kind donations help refugees to start their new lives on the right foot.  In-kind donations furnish newly-arrived refugees’ homes and ensure that refugee children have the necessary school supplies.  All refugee homes are furnished entirely through donations.  We are most in need of the items listed here and are happy to provide a tax receipt.  We accept gently used or new items only.  On behalf of all the refugees your donations will help, thank you!

If you would like to contribute items, please contact Jeff Brooks at (814) 452-3935, ext. 2021 or email jbrooks[at]

Furniture (no TVs or mattrasses)
Household Items
Kitchen Items
Winter Outerwear
Baby Supplies
School Supplies
Erie School District Uniforms

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.

To arrange a furniture pick-up, donation delivery, or for additional information please contact Jeff Brooks at (814) 452-3935, ext. 2021 or email jbrooks[at] Thanks for your help!

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