Volunteers Make All the Difference

Simply put, the work of LIRS would be impossible without volunteers. Linda Hartke, LIRS president and CEO encourages potential volunteers, “It is not a time to hold back or be skeptical of what you might bring, but to have the confidence that you have been called to love your neighbor, and that you are very well equipped to do that.” Now that encouragement and real life stories are ready for the big screen in HD video. The videos are not just about getting help, they are about transformation. Former refugees, volunteers, and resettlement staff share how their lives are different because they all work together. To learn more about how you can volunteer, fill out our volunteer contact form.

Create a Culture of Welcome

Imagine the experience of a refugee—a life of displacement, deprivation, violence and fear. It is a life in which going home is an impossibility. A life of severed roots and lost investments, lived in unfamiliar places surrounded by unfamiliar cultures. Now, imagine the impact of someone who cares. Someone who listens, someone who helps navigate life in a new country. A volunteer who knows that a culture of welcome starts with a smile and means so much more.

Help Make a Home

In Phoenix, Arizona, volunteer Tim Gaffney is making the exhausting look simple. Tim took his local church’s call to gather furniture seriously, creating and facilitating a community network for furniture/home decor donation, that has in turn inspired an equally impressive network of relational refugee support.

Be a Mentor

In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Ryan Webster, a young man conversant in Swahili, saw a flyer and made the call. He is now providing indispensable cultural mentorship for an isolated Burundi woman and her two young children. Yet Ryan will always be the first to remind you that volunteering is a learning experience as often as it is a teaching one.

Foster Community

In the Twin Cities, there is a thriving Bhutanese refugee community. When that community sought support for its elderly with becoming accustomed to life in the United States, Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota enlisted the support of an eclectic group of volunteers and a weekly citizenship class, providing an invaluable service and joyful social life, was born.