Becoming an RHR Volunteer
An RHR Volunteer values reciprocity, proactivity, reliability, and empowerment.
Refugees Helping Refugees is a volunteer-run organization. Because RHR is a nonprofit and receives limited funding from grants for operational and programming costs, the organization is able to offer few, if any, paid positions, making the need for proactive, empowered, and passionate volunteers essential to its survival.
This unorthodox method of infrastructure, while cost effective, also ensures that those who volunteer at RHR are people who are passionate about working with refugees and care about their transition to living here. These people are reliable and innovative and seek to make a positive difference in the refugee and Rochester communities.
RHR is currently open Monday through Friday 9AM to 4:30PM and follows the RCSD school break schedule. Visit our Programming Calendar to check upcoming dates and availability.
Do you speak another language in addition to English, such as Somali, Arabic, Nepali, or Karen?
Ask about becoming an interpreter for our programs or case management appointments.
Are you interested in teaching a skill or speaking about a service you have connection with?
Ask about participating in our Speakers Bureau.
Can you sew, knit, or make jewelry?
Ask about becoming a teacher in our Sewing Program.
Have teaching aspirations or educational requirements for working with ESOL students?
A volunteer focused on teaching or refining English skills with students. OACES teachers (as of January 2016) are the main teachers for A, B, and C classes weekday mornings. Volunteer teachers can have a regular class in the afternoons or aid in the OACES’s morning classes. Tutors work with students in 1:1 and informal lessons or aid in other classes.
Are you a proactive and compassionate advocate interested in refugee affairs?
A volunteer focused on aiding RHR’s community with navigating American society. Many of RHR’s students and community are on or below the poverty line and receive benefits in the form of housing, child care, SNAP, and cash allowance to support themselves in return for attending our English classes and Work Experience Program (WEP). It is the Case Management Volunteer’s role to make calls and appointments on behalf of individuals when issues arise as well as a plethora of other tasks that ensure needs are being met.
Do you like eating and preparing ethnic food, participating in intergenerational dialogue, and overcoming cultural barriers?
Ask about volunteering for our Cooking Class or Senior Program.
Are you interested in enriching a community through nonprofit work?
A volunteer focused on the organization and management of the office. These volunteers perform a multitude of tasks from recording attendance and making/answering phone calls to recording/ordering office inventory and, most importantly, creating a welcoming environment.
A volunteer focused on the social media presence and promotion of RHR so that it not only serves more refugees, but is widely known to those outside the RHR community. These volunteers maintain all social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) as well as RHR’s website, create posters for programs and events, and generate a quarterly newsletter to send to constituents on the affairs at RHR.
Can you plan and put on an engaging fundraiser or write a grant or persuasive letters?
A volunteer focused on generating funds or donations to ensure the organization can continue to exist. Tasks include applying for and writing grants, annual appeals, and planning/operating fundraising events. These volunteers collaborate with Staff and Programming Volunteers to ensure that programming needs are being met with donations or grant proposals.