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Help Our Newest Neighbors Succeed

We know that many of you are excited to help welcome our new neighbors, and we want to help you do so in a way that fits with your own schedules, interests, and abilities. We've put together some suggestions for how you can get involved by making in-kind donations, volunteering, becoming a community sponsor, or providing housing.

Your gift goes to work immediately, directly helping those who need it most. Select JFCS, or designate your gift to JFCS Refugee and Immigrant Services in the designation drop-down menu on the Donate page.

How can you help families who are newly arrived in our community?

We’re collecting gift cards from stores so that we can help our refugee families get settled into their new homes. If you want to make a difference in the lives of these people who have been displaced from their homes, please consider donating a gift card!

Check out the donation lists for Afghan arrivals and select a gift card to donate!

Questions, please contact Thea Gamboa at 315-706-4078 or tgamboa@jfcspgh.org.

At this time volunteer opportunities are available on an as-needed basis. 

Volunteers have been the cornerstone of JFCS’s existence since the agency’s inception. Volunteers who work with us tell us they find the experience often just as meaningful and rewarding as it is for the individuals we serve.

We are enrolling new individuals and families in our youth programs, and they would benefit from having a volunteer to help their integration process. The volunteer opportunities described below are primarily in-person. Almost all refugee families have received two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine. The families all live in different neighborhoods in Allegheny County so there is likely a family near you.

We have a few different opportunities:

  • BASE (Basics of Academic Success & Engagement) Mentor: BASE is a hybrid after-school mentoring program created to boost self-confidence, increase English skills, strengthen cross-cultural awareness, and help students catch up with their studies. The volunteer time commitment is two hours per week.
  • Bridge Builder Mentor: Bridge Builders is a weekly virtual after-school program designed for advanced students ages 5-20 who have basic English and digital literacy. You would be required to join the zoom meetings and participate in scheduled activities. There is also 35-40 minute one on one break-out sessions. Volunteers need to enter notes after each session.

Learn how you can make a difference! Email Beth Sheridan at esheridan@jfcspgh.org

When you sign up, please note that the opportunity might not begin immediately.

To learn more about opportunities with JFCS Refugee and Immigrant Services and JFCS Immigration Legal Services, click here.

Do you want to get involved in a new way?

Through JFCS’s new Community Sponsorship Program, faith-based and organized community groups can directly engage in refugee resettlement efforts. Partnering with faith-based organizations has been essential to JFCS’s resettlement work, with congregations of different faiths coming together to cook welcome meals, donate furniture, help with housing set-ups, and educate the community about refugees in our city. Now, faith-based organizations have a chance to get involved in an even deeper way.

By becoming a Community Sponsor for one or more refugee families through JFCS’s Community Sponsorship Program, your group can provide direct assistance for the first year of their lives here in Pittsburgh! You’ll be invited to participate in all aspects of resettlement—from initial meetings with prospective families through their first year here—and have access to training opportunities throughout that time. All while building relationships with other community members who care deeply about welcoming new neighbors into our city!

Does your organization want to strengthen local community support for refugees and immigrants by sponsoring a newly arrived refugee or their family?

Contact Alina Harbourne at 412-439-3227 or aharbourne@jfcspgh.org to learn more about this exciting way to help our newest neighbors thrive!

Helping refugees find a home in Pittsburgh is an important part of our work. We’re looking for landlords willing to rent to people who don’t have a credit history in the US, and we’re looking for people interested in temporarily hosting someone who has recently arrived (this option is limited to homes that have a private entrance).

Please contact Ivonne Smith-Tapia at ismithtapia@jfcspgh.org if you are interesting in renting or hosting.