volunteer with RIF

Thanks for your interest in RIF and asylum seekers! Here are several different ways for you to get involved:

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RIF Welcomers greet asylum seekers at our meetings and welcome center and provide an orientation to NYC, which can seem very daunting to a new arrival.

A Welcomer is a friendly face who offers advice -- how to use the subway, what's available at public libraries, where to find a food bank -- and most importantly helps asylum seekers to feel listened to and welcomed, a particularly crucial task given recent threats to our sanctuary city. RIF encourages Welcomers to build personal relationships with asylum seekers and use their own networks and resources to help them connect and get settled in their new home.

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organize a food drive

Can you organize a food drive at your office, church, temple, local farmer's market, or school? Because it can take 6-12 months for an asylum seeker to get a work permit, many rely on food banks to survive. We aim to give out food packages at as many of our monthly asylum meetings as possible. For more information about how much and what type of food to collect, please visit our food drive page.


We are always looking for Spanish and French translators to work our asylum meetings and translate at our bi-monthly legal consultations. (Please note that these consultations are confidential and require discretion and cultural competence.)

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other ideas

Are you a musician, performer, or chef willing to volunteer at a RIF advocacy event or fundraiser? An immigration attorney looking to assist asylum seekers in preparing for their interviews? Do you have a connection to a clothing store willing to donate new clothes to refugees? A room in your home you're willing to offer to an asylum seeker in need?

If you are provider interested in offering services to asylum seekers, you are welcome to set up a table at one of our monthly meetings. Please email us at info@rifnyc.org.

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We welcome creative ideas, although please note that because we have a small team, we are not able to accommodate every request.

How would you like to get involved? Please email sean@rifnyc.org