Dear Volunteering Friends,
As you already know if you received last quarter’s newsletter, LIRS is rapidly building out its library of resources to equip you to make a positive impact—like our updated detention visitation guide, Bring the Sky, our recent Gather: Guatemala program, or our just-launched 2022 Hope for the Holidays toolkit.
But how do you go about implementing them?
Allow me to invite you to take a dive into your own hometown. What groups are you already a part of? Perhaps you are a student, a member of your local church, or an athlete in a charity sports league. Pre-existing groups often provide a natural context for volunteering. Could you start an after-school club for Pro-Immigrant Advocacy or chair a Committee of Welcome?
Maybe you simply see the same folks in your Zumba class each week or at your child’s art lessons. Consider inviting them to dinner, using the menu from any of our Gather guides! This can be a fun, low-pressure context to start conversations about immigration and gauge people’s interest in becoming a Conversation Partner.
Similarly, you can host a Hope for the Holidays party! If people enjoy writing holiday cards at your party, maybe they would want to start a Pen Pal Pod with you.
It’s also important to find out who in your community is already working in related areas and may want to connect. Is there a grassroots advocacy group whose clients would welcome a flexible, free way to practice their English? Is there an immigrant community in your neighborhood with loved ones in immigration detention? Does your local college offer a course in social justice that requires hands-on involvement? Can your detention visitation group meet at an immigrant-owned restaurant before you head to the detention center?
The possibilities are limitless—and LIRS is here to help.
What's Happening at LIRS
Last month, LIRS commemorated the one-year anniversary of the fall of the Afghan government to the Taliban. It was a solemn anniversary, but also afforded us the rare opportunity to pause and truly reflect on all that we accomplished in the last year. Things are changing quickly, both within the organization and around us, but we remain committed to responding to emergent crises—most recently, the displacement of undocumented families due to Hurricane Ian and the bussing of migrants from Florida and Texas—while continuing our steadfast commitment to our signature programs. To learn more about what we've been up to, we encourage you to check out our blog!
Catholic Charities New York – New York, NY
In their own words, CCNY “help[s] newcomers reunite with their families, make their home a safe place, learn English, prepare for citizenship, and apply their talents and skills to gain employment.” As the seasons change, immigrants and refugees in New York have a pressing need for winter coats and warm clothing. They also need diapers, toiletries, and kitchen supplies. To coordinate a drop-off of these items, please email Jeremy Nicholson at email@example.com.
Keep an eye our for our upcoming Pen Pal Pod Manual, Conversation Partners Guidelines for English learning, and Civil Discourse resource for the holidays, created with communities like yours in mind.
However you decide to make a difference, don’t forget to tell us about it by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and using the subject line Volunteer Vista.
National Volunteer Action Coordinator