Volunteer

Transport to Medical Appointments   

A much-needed volunteering opportunity for the Community Services program in Boston involves driving IINE clients to various appointments, such as the two mandated Refugee Health Assessment appointments. These take place at the Boston Medical Center, Lynn Community Health Center, or other clinics authorized to provide this service. Volunteers would pick up clients at their homes, drive them to and help them navigate the hospital or clinic. Volunteers are provided pick-up and drop-off addresses, appointment details, and contact information for the client’s case specialist, who will be available on-call throughout the appointment. Other transportation needs include airport pick-up for our newly arriving clients, appointments at the SSA office, etc.   

Coordinate Social Events  

Social Events are important for helping new clients feel welcomed into our Boston community, and we plan to host regular social gatherings for newcomers. Social Event Volunteers will help these events run smoothly by setting up tables and chairs, serving food, and welcoming clients into our space. This is an excellent opportunity to meet newcomers and help build a sense of community and belonging for our clients.  

Welcoming teams/Apartment Set-Ups  

As part of welcoming newcomers to the Boston area, we provide clients with the furniture and home goods in their new residences. Volunteers are often needed to help transport items to clients’ apartments and set up their new living spaces. Apartment set-ups are one-time commitments, but volunteers are encouraged to join us again for future opportunities! This is one of the most rewarding volunteer experiences. These are on an as-needed basis and will be listed on SignUp.com.  

ESOL Support  

ESOL volunteers meet with students learning English as a second language. This opportunity is remote, and classes are conducted through Zoom. Volunteers meet with students in breakout rooms and go over English assignments given by the ESOL instructor. Volunteers meet for one hour once a week. Orientation, training, and staff support are available to all ESOL volunteers.   

Tutoring and FAFSA Support  

We are looking for experienced tutors to help clients in school navigate their coursework and apply for scholarships and financial aid. Tutoring would be a regular commitment, but those with experience navigating financial aid applications are also needed for short-term assistance.  

Refugee Youth Mentors  

IINE is recruiting mentors for our refugee youth. Currently, we have 28 youths looking for mentors. Mentors commit to spending two hours a week and connect with their mentees over the youth’s SMART goals. Some of our youths are looking for a mentor to practice English with them. Others would like some support preparing for school or job interviews. Youth in our program are aged 15-24 years old. Their English-speaking levels vary. This volunteer opportunity requires patience, a desire to work with youth, and the ability to set and maintain good boundaries. Volunteers are provided orientation, training, and support from IINE staff.  

Refugee Youth Tutors  

IINE is also looking for tutors for ten refugee youth who have been coming to the IINE Lowell office twice a week to learn. Youth are working on a variety of subjects with volunteer tutors, including but not limited to studying for MCAS exams, preparing for their GED, homework assistance, and assistance with learning English as a second language. Tutoring sessions occur in person on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm. Volunteers can participate in one or both sessions.   

Friday Food Delivery Drivers  

Every Friday, IINE Lowell delivers about 2,000 lbs. of food to our most food-insecure families, typically about 30-34 families in Lowell, Dracut, Lawrence, and Methuen. Drivers arrive at the IINE office around noon, and volunteer sorters load boxes into the driver’s cars. The volunteer coordinator will provide you with a list of 5-8 homes to deliver to in a specific area. This typically takes about 2 hours. This is a reoccurring event that can be signed up for weekly.   

ESOL Support  

ESOL volunteers meet with students learning English as a second language. This opportunity is remote, and classes are conducted through zoom meetings. Volunteers meet with students in breakout rooms and go over English assignments given by the ESOL instructor. Volunteers meet for one hour once a week. Orientation, training, and staff support are available to all ESOL volunteers.

  

ESOL Classroom Support Mentors

IINE is recruiting mentors to help with classroom learning activities and conversation circles and to help facilitate breakout rooms for remote students participating on Zoom. Depending on program needs, mentors can participate either in person or via Zoom. Volunteers can sign up for 1-3 days per week. Student English-speaking levels vary, so this volunteer opportunity requires patience, a desire to work with adults, and the ability to set and maintain good boundaries. Volunteers are provided orientation, training, and support from IINE staff.  

Volunteer Drivers

The Manchester site is looking for drivers to help transport clients to medical appointments, job interviews, and social & wellness activities. Volunteers must have valid driver’s licenses, auto insurance, and a willingness to transport clients. Volunteer opportunities vary by need.   

Welcoming Teams/ Apartment set-ups

Apartment helpers assist the Community Service Team in welcoming new arriving families. Volunteers work alongside IINE staff to help move furniture and decorate the apartment to make a warm and welcoming home environment. This is one of the most rewarding experiences volunteers can participate in. Scheduling is on-call as needed based on upcoming arrival.   

Events Teams

Help set up and decorate for IINE events and fundraisers. This is a fun way to spend a day working as a team and getting to know the community we serve.

The world is filled with people who have made the difficult decision to leave their homeland in the hope of finding a safe refuge for themselves and their families. Our communities are experiencing this resettlement firsthand as Afghan evacuees arrive in substantial numbers. Members of TriCon Church in Concord came together eager to help these new neighbors. After much research, the Tricon Afghan Welcome Team put our trust in IINE as our partner in these efforts because of their years of experience in settling refugees and asylum seekers in New England.

— Carolyn Stafford Stein, member, TriCon Church

Resettle Together: Community Sponsorship at IINE

Community Sponsorship is a collaborative effort between groups of people, refugees and resettlement staff that work together to prepare for and welcome refugees to their community. Sponsor groups will provide some core resettlement services including; locating and setting up appropriate housing, airport pick up, school enrollment and cultural orientation. All sponsors will receive training on their specific responsibilities and will have ongoing support from IINE staff.

There will be Resettle Together virtual info sessions on the following dates:
*Click on the date to register

A closer look: “Resettle Together: Community Sponsorship at IINE”

Over the past several months, IINE has resettled more than 500 Afghan evacuees while simultaneously providing intensive case management and essential services to Haitians displaced by natural disasters and political unrest, children who crossed the U.S. border unaccompanied, and Ukrainians uprooted by war in […]

Donate Goods

IINE is collecting donations of goods and supplies to distribute to individuals and families arriving in Massachusetts and New Hampshire from conflict zones across the world, including Afghanistan. All donated items should be new and unopened unless otherwise noted.

Please do not contribute clothing beyond what is indicated below. We are working with local Afghan/Afghan-American groups to source culturally-appropriate clothing for Afghan evacuees.

Note: For furniture and larger items, we ask for photos to assess condition and usability before donating. We can help coordinate drop-offs at one of our off-site storage spaces.

Here is what we currently accept at:

  • Gift cards (Amazon, Walmart, Market Basket, and Target are all excellent choices)
  • Twin sheets
  • Towel sets (bath, hand, face)
  • Diapers (all sizes)
  • Amazon Wish List
  • Gift cards (Amazon, Walmart, Market Basket, and Target are all excellent choices)
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo
  • Laundry detergent
  • Pillows
  • Comforters (twin and queen)
  • Teapots
  • Kettles
  • Microwaves
  • Knives
  • Kitchen utensils
  • Pots and pans
  • Gift cards (Amazon, Walmart, Market Basket, and Target are all excellent choices)
  • Rugs

Questions about Donations?

Lowell: Sarah Benson sbenson@iine.org
Boston: Kathy Berry kberry@iine.org
Manchester: Kateryna Kelly kkelly@iine.org

Offer Housing

We are looking for long-term (12 months or more) housing in Massachusetts and New Hampshire for newly arrived Afghan evacuees and other refugees. This could include available, affordable apartments, secondary or vacation homes, accessory dwelling units, and more. We are open to creative housing solutions.

Our goal is to find affordable apartments for all newly-arriving families. Our hope is to provide families with their own private housing, rented in their own names, giving them independence and autonomy as they rebuild their lives.

It is best for evacuees and refugees if:

  • Apartments are within walking distance of our IINE offices in Boston, Lowell or Manchester or close to public transportation.
  • Apartments are NOT in rural settings which make accessing services and employment challenging.

Generally, we are looking for apartments and single-family homes for rent in the following price ranges:

  • 1-bedroom units for no more than $1,100 per month
  • 2-bedroom units for no more than $1,800 per month
  • 3-bedroom units for no more than $2,300 per month*
  • 4-bedroom units for no more than $2,500*

* Note: IINE will only place families with 2-3 working adults or more in these units.

Become a Corporate Partner

Companies know how important refugees and immigrants are to the success of their businesses.

Many companies and their employees are seeking ways to partner with organizations that welcome and support new Americans. The International Institute of New England is one of the oldest and largest social service organizations for immigrants and refugees in the region. We create opportunities for refugees and immigrants to succeed through resettlement, education, career advancement and pathways to citizenship. Each year, we serve more than 3,000 refugee and immigrant clients in Boston and Lowell, Massachusetts, and Manchester, New Hampshire.

Here are some ways that your company can support IINE and create powerful impact on the lives of New England’s refugees and immigrants.

Donate to Support IINE Programs

Many companies in Massachusetts and New Hampshire make generous financial contributions to IINE’s programs, which is the most direct way to create impact. Our programs include:

  • Refugee Resettlement
  • Specialized Case Management Support, including Family Reunification, Youth Mentorship, and Human Trafficking Victims Assistance
  • English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)
  • Employment Services
  • Job Skills Training
    • Certified Nursing Assistant Program (CNA)
    • Licensed Nursing Assistant Program (LNA)
    • Pre-Construction Certification Program
  • Immigration Legal Services

IINE can also work with your organization to customize your program support and impact. Many life sciences and healthcare companies, for example, are eager to contribute to the healthcare navigation work that our case specialists provide to newly arrived families. Other employers support specialized English or skills training classes. We can provide a detailed proposal and follow-up with a report and data on the impact of a corporate gift. For inquiries about customized program support, contact Leilani Olson at lolson@iine.org.

Donate Goods

Each year, companies across the region organize employee drives to collect gift cards, clothing, and other necessities to help refugees and immigrants in IINE programs.  IINE staff works with companies to organize these giving campaigns. For information about corporate in-kind donation drives, contact Leilani Olson at lolson@iine.org.

Sponsor an Event

IINE holds two signature events each year and offers a range of corporate sponsorships. Events give corporate partners an opportunity to introduce their employees to IINE’s work, highlight their public support for refugees and immigrants, and increase their visibility in the community.

The Golden Door Award Gala honors an individual born outside the U.S. who has had a profound impact on the region and the country. The next Golden Door Award Gala will honor Srikant Datar and take place on Monday, May 15, 2023.

IINE has celebrated International Women’s Day each year since the early 2000s. Past honorees include: Rep. Nikki Tsongas, Victoria Reggie Kennedy, Ambassador Swanee Hunt, Dr. Charlotte Yeh, Colette Phillips, Christina Qi, and U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen. This year the event will take place on Friday, March 10, 2023 at the Boston Park Plaza from 3 –5:30 pm.

Volunteer

Our trained staff work with companies to facilitate opportunities for employees to volunteer in setting up apartments for refugees, tutoring in English classes, coaching immigrants for job interviews, and other critical activities. IINE is happy to work with you to develop an engagement program that works for your organization. Learn about our volunteer opportunities.

Find and hire talent in Massachusetts and New Hampshire

New England’s employers are facing the most acute labor shortage in more than 50 years. IINE staff have more connections in the immigrant community than any other organization in the region. IINE can help place workers in hospitality, healthcare, manufacturing, retail, and other fast-growing industries.

Our employment case specialists meet with employers to learn about their staffing needs and match them with the skills and suitability of our clients for various work environments. We work hard to build deep relationships with employer partners.

To learn more about finding and hiring talent, contact one of our Career Services Managers.

Boston: Nico Britt nbritt@iine.org

Lowell: Yusuf Abdi Yabdi@iine.org

Manchester: Andrew Cullen acullen@iine.org

Legal Services for your employees

Many companies hire attorneys to provide H1B and other visas for foreign-born people who come to work for them. IINE offers a range of low-cost, high-quality immigration legal services. IINE provides business, humanitarian, and family immigration legal services. Learn more about IINE immigration legal services.