Volunteer Opportunities to Support Asylum Seekers on US/Mexico Border
NGOs serving Refugees and Asylum Seekers on the Texas and California Borders
These volunteer opportunities will be updated as we receive feedback from you about your experience. If you decide to volunteer for one of them, please let us know. Thank you!
Annunciation House, El Paso, Texas.
Annunciation House manages several Shelters: Casa Vides, Casa Refugiado, Casa Oscar Romero. Annunciation House is nearly 100 years old and is located on the fringe of El Paso’s biggest barrio and about 10 blocks from the US/Mexico border. The organization has been home to thousands of refugees and migrant poor. They are currently accepting both short and long-term volunteers
to assist with providing hospitality to asylum seekers.
To apply with Annunciation House, visit the website above and complete the application form. Both local and out-of-town volunteers are welcome but note that there are different forms for out-of-town volunteers to complete. If you’re interested in reading about the experience of one volunteer, click here to read about Cynthia Pulham’s short term volunteer service.
Casa Marianella, Austin, Texas.
The Director of Casa Marianella explained that she currently has two RPCVs working with her but that she is in need of French speakers. Interested RPCVs with high-intermediate to advanced French skills should email firstname.lastname@example.org to express interest in volunteering. Be sure to mention that you're an RPCV and speak French. The ideal volunteer would live in Austin but it may be possible to serve virtually. You will need to discuss this with the Director.
Center for Refugee Services, San Antonio, Texas.
The Center for Refugee Services assists more than 1,000 clients a year. They are legally resettled refugees who have come from more than 20 countries torn by violence, war, and human rights abuses to make their home in San Antonio.
Since 2010, more than 10,000 individuals have resettled in San Antonio as permanent residents; after five years, most apply for U.S. citizenship. There are a number of volunteer positions listed on their website.
Amaanah, Houston, Texas -
Amaana's website does not provide information about volunteer opportunities but you can complete a form on the website to express interest in volunteering. The Program Manager also suggests that you text the word “Volunteer” to 844-358-3872. The organization seeks volunteers for:
- One-time distribution events every 3-4 months
- Teachers for after school and English language programs
- Supporting women in preparing for jobs through the Big Sister program
Jewish Family Services, San Diego, California
The San Diego Rapid Response Migrant Shelter operated by Jewish Family Services provides shelter services which include case management, travel assistance, nutrition services, medical screenings, and financial support for migrant families. Volunteers are needed to welcome refugees and asylum seekers with dignity and compassion. There are a variety of Volunteers positions which include:
- Shelter Couriers to help pack and deliver meals to families. Volunteers are responsible for putting together bags of hygiene items, food, and other supplies and delivering them to hotels.
- Airport/Greyhound Guides to help families navigate the ins and outs of transportation by serving as a transportation guide! Guides are responsible for picking up families from their respective hotels, helping them print their boarding tickets, and escorting families through the airport or greyhound station until they arrive at their boarding gate.
See this link for all the positions available.
Al Otro Lado, San Diego, California.
Al Otro Lado provides holistic legal and humanitarian support to refugees, deportees, and other migrants in the US and Tijuana through a multidisciplinary, client-centered, harm reduction-based practice. They provide direct, free, legal services on both sides of the US-Mexico border and beyond. They are seeking volunteers for assignments in San Diego and Tijuana and in various cities around the country. Interested volunteers can fill out an on-line application located at: https://airtable.com/shrNruFjO5hnCyWoi
International Rescue Committee (IRC) San Diego, San Diego CA.
The International Rescue Committee (IRC) helps people affected by humanitarian crises—including the climate crisis—to survive, recover and rebuild their lives. They have a number of volunteer opportunities throughout the US. This link above provides a description of the opportunities available and an application form for those interested in volunteering their time to work with refugees and immigrants.
Respond Crisis Translation are a group of language experts, Google Translate marketers, professional interpreters, project managers, and curriculum designers who are passionate about the intersection of immigrant justice and language democracy. They do pro bono translations for ASAP, RAICES, Al Otro Lado, Florence Project, San Francisco Foundation, as well as smaller collectives and independent attorneys and asylum seekers. People interested in being involved as a volunteer translator can see their website and sign up here to volunteer.
In addition, Lawyers For Good Government - Proyecto Corazon has remote legal volunteer opportunities at the border. Attorneys, can also sign up for volunteer opportunities on WeTheAction.org or through the Immigration Justice Campaign.