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]uscri-erie.org.

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

Education

  • 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

Child Care
A current medical physical is required for all child care workers

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

Language Services

  • Provide basic interpretation
  • Translate documents

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]uscri-erie.org.

Furniture
Twin and double beds
Dressers
Tables and kitchen chairs are especially needed

Household Items
Brooms
Dustpans
Mops
Buckets
Wastebaskets
Cleaning products
Dish detergent
Sponges
Laundry detergent
Laundry baskets
Paper towels
Tissues
Toilet paper
Toilet brushes/holders
Food storage bags
Trash bags
Shower curtains and shower rings

Linens

Single and double bed sheets
Pillowcases
Blankets
Comforters
Quilts
Towels
Washcloths
Dish cloths and dishtowels

Kitchen Items
Dishes
Tableware
Pots and pans

Winter Outerwear
Winter coats
Hats
Gloves
Scarves
Socks
Shoes
Boots
Personal Hygiene Items (must be new and unopened)

Baby Supplies
Cribs
Strollers
Newborn layettes
Cloth diapers
Alarm Clocks

School Supplies
Pencils
Pens
Paper
Backpacks

Erie School District Uniforms
Turtlenecks
Oxford and buttoned polo shirts in solid colors
Slacks and skirts in solid colors of black, navy blue, beige, or khaki colors

We cannot accept: Sectional or sleeper sofas, clothing (except for outerwear), 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.

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]uscri-erie.org. Thanks for your help!

View USCRI's Disclosure Statement >>

©2011 USCRI
Powered by Convio
nonprofit software