Support for the Journey

Hundreds of refugees are resettled each year in the Triangle of North Carolina after fleeing persecution in their own home countries. Refugees often arrive with little to no English, limited familiarity with U.S. culture, and no financial resources. Their resettlement journey is long and full of challenges.

You can make that journey easier.
Volunteer to support newcomers as they rebuild their lives, and help us continue the over 40-year tradition of welcoming refugees to North Carolina

Contact the Volunteer Team


Burlington, NC

In addition to our work in Durham, our team is now providing resettlement and employment services in Burlington, NC. The limited availability of affordable housing in the Triangle continues to present significant challenges for our new neighbors arriving in Durham. As a result, our team has developed new housing, community, employment, and government partnerships in Alamance County to support our new neighbors as they begin their new lives with us in North Carolina.

Friendship After Kabul

A little over a year ago in August 2021, I deployed to Afghanistan with the 82nd Airborne as part of Operation Allies Refuge. Our goal was to evacuate American citizens as well as Afghan allies fleeing the Taliban and seeking safety in the U.S. My experiences during the evacuation stuck with me. Even after returning to North Carolina, the memories continued to occupy my mind. I wanted to find a way to help here at home.

Read More

Individual Volunteer Opportunities


Volunteers will guide clients through the process of presenting necessary paperwork (which will be provided in advance) at the Spectrum store in order to register and sign-up for a Wi-Fi account.

This opportunity is adaptable to the volunteer’s schedule and will entail meeting a new client each time. No background in IT nor technological capabilities is required, as this will mostly consist of administrative work.

Coffee Conversations

Coffee Conversationalists offer career guidance to former refugees enrolled in our new CARE Program established to support refugees in their educational and employment goals.

Volunteers are matched with clients with an interest in the volunteer's area of expertise and meet with the client for a one-time conversation to share more about their field of work.

Resume Volunteer

volunteer hours must take place within the range of monday-friday between 9 am-4:30 pm

Volunteers will help clients construct a basic resume based off the client's past work experience. The volunteer will create a schedule with time slots where clients can sign-up to receive resume help.

Practice English With Refugees

In-person or Virtual

Volunteers will be paired with a client to help them practice their English. Volunteers will meet with their client 1x a week for an hour to help the client excel in their English proficiency.

Grocery Store Orientation

Welcome newly-arrived clients to their local grocery store. Guide them in locating essential items like eggs, milk, and proteins. Assist in navigating the check-out process.

ESL Assistant or Teacher

Volunteers will help assist our ESL teachers in any capacity they need.

Bus Trainings

Assist clients at their nearest bus stop in learning essential routes, such as traveling from home to our CWS Durham Office, DSS, the grocery store, and other destinations.

DMV Appointments

Accompany clients to their DMV appointments as they work towards obtaining their identification information. Volunteers will primarily provide support in navigating language barriers, unfamiliar documents, and procedures.

School Enrollment

Support newly arrived clients by accompanying them to enroll their children in school. Volunteers will help clients overcome language barriers, navigate unfamiliar documents, and a new education system.

Volunteers will be connected with CWS Durham's enrollment support point-of-contact and will have support from the client's Case Manager.

DSS Appointments

Accompany clients to their Division of Social Services appointments where they will present the client’s I-94, completed application (which the volunteer will help the client fill out upon arrival at the DSS office), and travel documents to obtain their social security card. This support is instrumental, as it paves the way for accessing employment and social security benefits.

Furniture Movers

Join our team to help furnish the homes of our clients alongside Housing Specialists. We collaborate with fantastic partners to provide affordable, quality furniture for our clients' first homes in the United States.

Volunteers are needed a couple of times a week to assist with moving furniture, facilitating clients' quick settlement into their new homes. Additionally, we seek support in transporting these items using U-Hauls or trucks supplied by volunteers.

Home Supply Shopping and Delivery

Volunteers play a vital role in supporting refugees' housing needs by shopping for essential items listed on our Home Supply Checklist at Walmart. These items include kitchenware, hygiene products, bedding, over-the-counter medicine, and more.

After shopping, volunteers deliver the items directly to clients' homes, contributing to a warm and comfortable living environment. Items can be donated or purchased using gift cards provided by the office.

Medicaid/Food Stamp Enrollment

in-office opportunity

Assist Case Managers in enrolling clients for Medicaid and Food Stamp benefits. Timely enrollment is crucial for clients' journey to self-sufficiency, helping them save valuable funds as they navigate the initial challenges of living in the U.S.

Group Volunteer Opportunities


Welcome Teams

Welcome Teams set up and furnish apartments so that newly-arrived refugees have a prepared home for them when they arrive in Durham. Check out the Home Supply List to see what items are included in a home setup!

Learn More

Community Sponsorship

Welcome newly arrived refugees to Durham through community sponsorship. As a community sponsor, your group of 7-10 becomes a partner with CWS Durham to greet a refugee family at the airport, assist them in securing and furnishing initial housing, connect them with local services, and show them all of the things that make our community so special!

Learn More

Volunteer Requirements

If you would like to volunteer directly with clients, we ask that volunteers are:

  • Attend a volunteer orientation
  • Complete a background check (prior to orientation)
  • 18 years or older

Some volunteer opportunities may vary from these requirements. Please note that once a volunteer application is completed and you have registered for an orientation date, you must complete your background check prior to attending the orientation to ensure a swift onboarding process. If you have any questions, please contact Lisa or Nikita.

Apply to Volunteer



Case Notes

Case Notes are an important documentation of the services our staff and volunteers provide to our new neighbors. Case notes increase coordination and communication across the team while also offering clients a transparent and accessible record of the services and team support received since their arrival.


CORE Resource Exchange

The Cultural Orientation Resource Exchange (CORE), a technical assistance program, connects and supports refugee resettlement staff globally to deliver effective Cultural Orientation which helps refugees and Special Immigrant Visa holders achieve self-sufficiency in the United States.