Note: Although World Relief Durham is a refugee resettlement agency, we have a vision of reaching all 160,000 newcomers (or foreign-born people) living in the Triangle. Therefore, we are in the process of modifying the S.E.R.V.E. Toolkit so that it can assist volunteers working with the greater newcomer community. However, some of the resources do apply strictly to refugees and refugee resettlement. Volunteers will see the word “refugee” when a sentence applies only to refugees, and “newcomer” when the sentence applies to the greater newcomer community.
In order to become a WRD volunteer, one must complete the following four steps, in no particular order. Refugees trust us at WRD and therefore trust that the people we bring into their lives are trustworthy, passionate and dedicated as well. These steps are to be completed before one can begin volunteering. The application is found on WRD’s website, under ‘Get Involved,’ then ‘Volunteer’ and finally ‘Application Process’:
The application is extensive and necessary as working with refugees is taken very seriously. It allows WRD to learn more about its volunteers and place them in volunteer opportunities that align with their passions and skills. Applicants should indicate in which volunteer opportunity or opportunities they are interested. The volunteer coordinator and church engagement specialist will then contact the volunteers with information on a potentially partnered client or with more details on their potential volunteer experience. Volunteer opportunities are described here and on the S.E.R.V.E. Toolkit’s Volunteer Category pages.
2. Fill out a criminal background check form (required) and motor vehicle background check form (if applicable).
Volunteers are required to get a criminal background check, and those who anticipate driving with a refugee are required to get both a criminal background check and motor vehicle check (WRD encourages volunteers to fill out both checks just in case). Please note that World Relief, not an interested volunteer, pays for background checks to be conducted.
3. Fill out a reference form:
In order to complete references, volunteers are to email the link to the reference form found on WRD’s website to TWO* people who can advocate for them. References can be from friends, family, co-workers, classmates, etc. Only WRD can see references’ responses.
*Note the requirement is now TWO references, not three, as it was previously.
4. Attend a volunteer orientation:
Volunteer orientations are held once a month, usually the first WEDNESDAY** of the month from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the WRD office in the multipurpose room. Please RSVP to Kaylee Baker at firstname.lastname@example.org. If volunteers are looking to get involved before a the next monthly orientation or are unable to make the orientation, please contact the volunteer coordinator.
**Note the orientation day is now the first WEDNESDAY of the month, not the first Thursday, as it was previously.
5. After finishing the application process:
The volunteer coordinator and church engagement specialist will review a volunteer’s application and then contact the volunteer with details about getting started. If an applicant does not hear from WRD within one week, he or she should not hesitate to call or email the volunteer coordinator.
Application Process for volunteers partnering with newcomers who are not WRD refugee clients:
1. Complete a revised application.
2. Attend a volunteer orientation.
Does my child need to apply to volunteer with WRD? If a child under the age of 14 is volunteering with a parent, he/she does not need to apply. Children ages 14 and above will need to complete a separate application, with the parents’ permission indicated if they are under the age of 18.