Volunteer with Refugee Services of Texas
Learn about our many volunteer opportunities by reading the descriptions below. Then, create a volunteer profile to sign up for opportunities by clicking on the nearest service site! Every volunteer must attend a volunteer orientation and pass a background check before they are eligible to begin volunteering.
Although training may be attended virtually, please only sign up for training in your area as procedures and volunteer opportunities differ at each location.
Are you looking to volunteer with a group? Click here to learn about forming a Welcome Team.
1) Read about our involvement opportunities!
Refugee Services of Texas offers many ways to get involved. You will find a number of volunteer opportunities that cater to a specific skill and interest areas. Learn about some of our opportunities below:
Apartment Set Up
Volunteers have the opportunity to create a welcoming environment for a newly arrived refugee family by setting up an apartment with household items and groceries. Apartment set-ups are fun and allow volunteers to create a warm, welcome and comfortable home for refugees!
Volunteers will work with staff in facilitating Cultural Orientation classes for newly arrived refugee families. Volunteers will help teach refugees U.S. laws, customs, traditions, and engage in conversation on what their new life looks like in the United States!
Welcome Teams provide refugee families with a supportive network as they adjust to their new life in Texas! Welcome Teams are paired with an arriving refugee family prior to their arrival in the U.S., and assist with everything from apartment set-up all the way to enrolling children in school! Welcome Teams are an excellent opportunity for volunteer groups interested in working with refugees for an extended period of time.
Co-sponsorship is a collaboration between the community, RST, and refugee families. As a co-sponsor, you will play an integral role in helping refugees become self-sufficient and get off to a strong start in their new home country. RST delegates the following resettlement tasks to your group: setting up an email account, setting up a bank account, grocery store orientation, school enrollment, bus orientation, and obtaining a driver’s license or state ID.
Refugees may not have personal transportation upon arrival, and need training to learn public transportation. Volunteers can assist our clients by helping with public transportation to appointments and teaching refugees how to use their local public transportation to get there! Transportation volunteers are a vital part of a refugees achieving self-sufficiency during their new life in the United States.
Human Trafficking Outreach
Volunteers can assist our Survivors of Trafficking Empowerment Program (STEP) as they provide services to survivors of trafficking through outreach and trainings, building community resources, and working directly with staff.
Job Development and Financial Literacy
Self-sufficiency is the goal for each of our clients in all of RST’s programs. Volunteers can help prepare refugees to enter the American workforce by assisting with resume writing, mock interviews, creating and understanding a budget, skills classes and more!
English Language Classes
Learning English is one of the biggest challenges refugees must overcome. Volunteers can spend time with individual refugees teaching them basic English conversation skills, or work directly with licensed ESL providers in the classroom. Teaching experience is preferred, but not required.
Interpretation services are needed frequently, due to the limited English abilities of many refugees. At RST, our most needed language skills are Arabic, Spanish, Burmese, Nepali, and Dari, though all languages are welcome!
RST offers immigration legal services in multiple languages to refugees, asylees, and Cuban parolees. Volunteers interested in learning more about immigration are welcome to assist our attorneys as they provide services to refugees and other immigrant populations. A legal background is preferred, but not required.
Refugee families attend many appointments during their first few weeks in the United States. Volunteers can help provide child care to refugee children, while their parents learn invaluable information about the resettlement process and adjusting to their new life in the United States.
Administrative volunteers can provide support in our offices, assisting with professional tasks such as answering phones, greeting clients, and other administrative needs.
Volunteers have the opportunity to work directly with our case managers to assist in providing direct services to refugees! This opportunity is great for students and young professionals looking to build case management skills.
Guardian Angel Project (Houston Only)
With more unaccompanied children (UAC) from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras coming to the United States seeking asylum, many are taking their cases to court without attorneys. In the Guardian Angel Project, Spanish-speaking volunteers are trained to observe court proceedings to ensure each child's case receives fair treatment.
2. Sign up at one of our locations!
3. Contact us!
If you have any questions or concerns along the way, please don't hesitate to reach out to your location's Community Engagement Coordinator (CEC). We are so glad you're here!
Michel Hokanson: firstname.lastname@example.org
Theanna Chantarojwong: email@example.com
Hayley Man: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sanghee Dobson: email@example.com
Xochitl Huerta-Garcia: firstname.lastname@example.org
Aby Klansek: email@example.com
Mercy Boamah: firstname.lastname@example.org
Grace Ramazani: email@example.com
Beth Early: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rio Grande Valley STEP
Emily Rodriguez: email@example.com
Sarahi Calderon: firstname.lastname@example.org
Maggie Morales: email@example.com
ALL VOLUNTEERS RECEIVE TRAINING PRIOR TO SERVICE OPPORTUNITY!
To sign up to volunteer, please view this guide on creating an account on VolunteerHub.