Welcoming Afghan Refugees
Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains, and agencies like ours across the country, will begin welcoming our Afghan allies to our communities. At this time, we do not know how many individuals will arrive, family size, etc. In preparation for their arrival to New Mexico, we are seeking monetary donations rather than collections donations of items due to limited storage. However, we can accept gently used laptops and smartphones. Monetary contributions give maximum flexibility to allow us to respond to needs as we learn of them. To donate directly to LFSRM, click here. To schedule a drop-off time for laptops or smartphones send us an email.
In addition, interested volunteers can begin the volunteer process by registering for an orientation class.
We continue to pray for the safe withdrawal of those who were so important to our military and who, despite fearing death and detention, continued to work with American forces. Thank you for your support and for helping LFSRM provide a path to resettle these brave men and women.
At LFSRM, we have a variety of ways you can volunteer to help refugees. Whether it be working closely with refugee families, office assistance, or participating in one of our programs, we offer an array of opportunities suited to your specific preferences. We have six offices in the Rocky Mountain region, each with individual needs.
Our Cultural Mentoring and Exchange program gives you the opportunity to work directly with the refugees we serve. This is a six month commitment in which you will work continuously with a family that has recently arrived into the U.S. During this time you will focus on four key points: Financial Literacy, Employment, Practical Life Skills, and Learning English. You will work on these skills to varying degrees depending on the interests and needs of the family.
The first step to volunteering is attending one of our Refugee 101/Orientation classes. A background check is required when working off-site with clients. For training schedule, contact our Community Engagement Coordinator.
If you are interested in exploring different avenues for supporting and assisting refugees, we offer a variety of ways that you can utilize your time as a volunteer:
On-Call Volunteer: Receive email correspondence about one time, or short-term opportunities to volunteer.
Office Volunteer: We always need help around the office. We have opportunities to volunteer with our case management, employment, and specialized program departments.
Refugee Program Internships and Contractor Positions
An internship at LFSRM offers the opportunity to gain a deep understanding of refugee resettlement in the area. Interns will work with individuals from diverse cultures who are forging new beginnings in the United States. Challenging, educational and professional work experience will be gained through professional training and real work assignments that will provide valuable insight to the worlds of refugee resettlement and non-profit organizations. At times, interns will work closely with staff members, and other times independently, managing a workload comparable to LFSRM staff with the goal of helping advance the mission of LFSRM. Internships are integrated into the operations at LFSRM to help build the capacity of the organization while utilizing the diverse skills and talents of the interns. We greatly value the time commitment of each intern.
Our In-Home Tutoring program matches volunteers in a one-on-one relationship with a high school aged refugee youth. This is a unique opportunity to work one-on-one with refugee youth who may be struggling academically due to previous limited schooling or gaps in education. Challenges range from basic literacy to subject competency, so the assistance you provide may vary based on need, yet is undeniably instrumental in their overall success in school. The minimum time commitment for this program is one hour/week for the duration of the semester. Experience working with youth or in education preferred, but not required.
Special Programs Volunteers
Volunteers are needed for mentoring in the following programs. Volunteers are required to attend the Refugee 101 training and complete a background check.
New American Pathways program aims to enhance the skills of refugee and immigrant workers in the service sector and connect them with potential employers. If you would like to help develop/lead any of the workshops, your skills and expertise are certainly welcome!
Refugee Youth Career Pathways program helps enable young refugees between the ages of 16-24 achieve self-sufficiency by obtaining the necessary credentials, education, experience, and job skills to secure employment in professional and/or skilled career fields. The program teaches refugee participants about career pathways and helps to create personalized career development plans. Additionally, the program provides the necessary training and technical assistance for participants to overcome obstacles.
Intensive Case Management program assists individuals in taking steps to reach self-sufficiency by developing a goal-oriented plan and connections to community resources, on-on-one mentors, wellness support, and extended cultural orientation workshops that address specific client challenges.
The Survivors of Torture Program is a holistic, community engagement program that exists to work with refugees, asylees, and asylum seekers who have been subjected to torture prior to arriving in the United States. The program facilitates physical and mental health care, as well as provides pro bono legal assistance to clients. Additionally, clients have the opportunity to participate in support groups with other survivors of torture in order to engage in community and social events that promote safe and trusting relationships with each other and with their broader communities.
Micro Enterprise Development Credit Builder Loans help refugees establish credit or rebuild their credit. Our MED program provides financial literacy classes which include one-on-one credit mentorship and 10 hours of free business education classes. In addition, we report payments to the credit bureaus helping to further build credit. Standard loans through the program range from $1,000-$15,000 with terms from 12-36 months. Credit Builder loans range from $100-$500 with terms from 6-12 months. This program is qualified under the provisions of the New Mexico Small Loan Act (view New Mexico state license and authorization.)
We always need help with fundraising and other financial assistance. If you cannot donate your time, but still want to participate in assisting refugees in the community, consider the following ways contribute:
Co-Sponsorship: Help ease the tough cost of living by contributing $1,000 towards first month’s rent for a refugee family.
Fundraising: We can always use help raising funds to help refugee families.
Gift Cards: One awesome and simple way to help refugees, while giving them some choice in what they get, is to collect gift cards! For donation and basket/bin information please click here.
For more information on any of our programs please contact our Community Engagement Coordinator.