How You Can Help

Local communities play a critical role in helping newly arrived refugees who are resettling in the United States.  There are many opportunities for individuals, groups, or organizations in a local community to get involved in supporting the welcome and integration of refugee newcomers.

Volunteer Opportunities

The Department of State partners with ten non-profit resettlement agencies that collectively operate a national network of affiliate offices throughout the United States to facilitate the resettlement of refugees. To learn about specific volunteer opportunities to support refugees in your community, you can reach out to the local affiliate office of a resettlement agency  nearest you.

The Department of State is also collaborating with Welcome.US to share information with the American people and the private sector on how to support newcomers to the United States, including newly arrived Ukrainians, Venezuelans, and Afghans.  You can learn more by visiting Welcome.US .

Community Sponsorship

There are also many opportunities to support refugees through community sponsorship. Community sponsorship is a model of refugee resettlement where groups of individuals commit to providing clearly defined financial and/or in-kind contributions and volunteer services to support the welcome and integration of refugees.

Community sponsor groups can take many forms including, but not limited to, groups formed by faith groups, book clubs, sports teams, businesses, or university communities. Community sponsors may commit to tasks such as meeting refugee families on arrival at the airport, arranging safe and affordable housing, providing basic necessities, helping with enrollment in benefits programs, and providing orientation to the local community.  While this is a significant level of commitment, community sponsorship is an opportunity to provide meaningful and impactful assistance to newly arrived refugees.

Many local resettlement agency affiliates offer community sponsorship programs where groups can partner with them to provide support to refugee families (also known as co-sponsorship). You can contact the local affiliate office of a resettlement agency  nearest you to learn about community sponsorship opportunities in your local community. You can also learn more by accessing Welcome.US resources including an overview of community sponsorship  and a directory of available community sponsorship programs  nationwide.

Private Sponsorship

On January 19, 2023, the U.S. Department of State launched the Welcome Corps – a new private sponsorship program that enables everyday Americans to play a leading role in welcoming refugees arriving in the United States through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP). The Welcome Corps is an innovation in the U.S. approach to domestic resettlement of refugees admitted through the USRAP that leverages the engagement of private sponsors to increase and strengthen U.S. resettlement capacity. For more information on the program, visit the Welcome Corps website.

Additional Resources:

Factsheet on The Welcome Corps

Statement announcing The Welcome Corps

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future