USCRI: U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants

Community Connections

Volunteer to Help Refugees in Our Community

Resettling refugees into Des Moines involves the dedication and generosity of many people.  USCRI Des Moines’s volunteers find themselves performing incredibly fulfilling tasks when they devote their time to our clients and our mission.  As a volunteer, you play an integral part in the refugee resettlement process and help new arrivals make a smooth transition into their new home.  Whether you commit ten hours per week or ten hours per year, you will make a real difference in refugees’ lives.

We have a wide-range of opportunities, depending on your skills, interests, and availability!  Contact our office for more information!

Opportunities to work directly with refugees:

  • Family Friend: assist newly-arrived families with adjusting to life in Des Moines
  • Job Search Coach: assist clients with résumés and practice interviewing skills 
  • English Tutor: assist clients in English language acquisition

Opportunities to support refugee programs:

  • Administrative support: help with filing and other office tasks
  • Event planning: help plan and prepare for community events
  • Fundraising: organize and run a donation drive
  • Sorting donations: help make welcome kits for refugees and sort donations
  • Picking up donations: transport larger donations to our offce

In-Kind Donations

Your in-kind donations help refugees to start their new lives on the right foot.  In-kind donations help furnish newly-arrived refugees’ homes and ensure that refugee children have appropriate school supplies.  Please call our office for more information about the donations we accept.  You can complete this Donated Goods Form prior to dropping off items or fill one out at the office.

Needed Items Include:

  • Kitchen essentials (pots, pans, dishes, glasses, silverware, etc)
  • Housekeeping essentials (broom, mop, cleaning supplies) 
  • Pillows, sheets, and blankets 
  • Twin and full size beds 
  • Dressers 
  • Table and chairs 
  • Couches 
  • Gift cards to grocery or home furnishing stores 
  • Bus passes
  • School supplies of all kinds

Please check back soon for a full list of goods needed. In the meantime, feel free to give our office a call!

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Internships are 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 below. You can also look at our page for current openings.

For more information on volunteer or internship opportunities, email MDeFeo[at]


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