Volunteering at the Refugee Career Hub

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Become a friend and mentor to a refugee.

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Develop your own computer and job skills along the way.

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Teach others about the American workplace.

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Meet people from other cultures.

Volunteering at the Cafe, you never know who you are going to meet. Whether it is someone who has done post-graduate work at Johns Hopkins or someone who has been working at chicken processing plants for a decade (both true stories!), everyone who walks through the doors is treated with the same dignity and respect and empowered to find a fulfilling job. Getting to be a part of that process is both humbling and fulfilling.

- Austin Daily - Revenue Cycle Analyst Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

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Volunteering in the Cafe is a window into another world. It's an opportunity to help people who are new to the US, trying to create new lives for themselves in a place that is really different from their old home. It makes you see what a daunting task that can be, and it is a privilege to help, in some small way.

- Ulf Nilsson - Education Administrator, Emory University

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Cafe Clarkston was a great place to be. The idea of helping refugees find jobs in order for them to provide for themselves is a crucial part in helping them get accustomed to America. It was awesome to see different volunteers helping out. Although we did small jobs here and there, we were glad to have helped in any way.

- Thomas Kim

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Friends of Refugees aids and assists refugees fleeing persecution, in finding jobs. They needed help painting, honored.

- Volunteer - Victory World Church, Atlanta Leadership College

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I coached Thang Mang on what to expect at the job fair and how to present himself to the employers there. At the fair, I watched from a distance with pride as he dressed in appropriate business attire, spoke with the employer rep, and even presented the resume that he and I had prepared. I surmised from the rep's attention that Thang was likely to land a job. He has so much potential and will make a good employee.

- Gail Lee - Retired, HR Payroll

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Volunteer Positions

From one-on-one interactions with refugees to teaching a class, the Refugee Career Hub finds a place for your skills and talents. We always have tasks that need doing, even if resume-writing isn’t your talent. Typical volunteer tasks include:

  • Build resumes
  • Fill out job applications
  • Speak at an upcoming job class
  • Teach a computer class
  • Become a Career Coach
  • Taking photographs to record the stories of the career hub
  • Provide snacks for job-seekers and volunteers
  • Pray for the Hub and our mission

Getting Started as a Volunteer

The Refugee Career Hub is one of seven programs under Friends of Refugees.

  1. Attend volunteer orientation through Friends of Refugees.  Sign up here.
  2. Complete volunteer application and background check.
  3. Approved applications will be sent to the Hub’s volunteer coordinator.
  4. Attend volunteer orientation for the Career Hub scheduled through the volunteer coordinator.

Have a large group interested in volunteering at the Hub?

Group Volunteers

A Day in the Life as a Volunteer

Most volunteers help the refugees when they come to the Hub to start or continue the process of looking for a job.  These are called walk-in hours.  About thirty minutes before walk-in hours begin, the volunteers gather in a huddle to hear from the Volunteer Coordinator and the Job Developer who hand out a list of the day’s available positions and talk about any company that is recruiting in-person that day.

Mohamed is first in line, and this is his first time at the Refugee Career Hub. The first step is to register him in Zoho, the tool that the Hub uses to maintain each job-seeker’s information and keep track of the available jobs. He doesn’t speak much English, so his young son helps translate. He is from Syria, and he used to work as a cook. He doesn’t have an email account, so he creates one to maintain contact with potential employers. Finally, Mohamed visits our Community Training Specialist to start his new-member orientation.

Next in line is Lakirta, who is visiting for the second time to update her resume and turn in her completed practice job application. The volunteer opens her Zoho profile, opens her resume, and asks Lakirta for any new information for her resume. Lakirta proudly says that she now has a driver’s license, which qualifies her for more jobs. The volunteer adds this to her resume and verifies that the rest of her resume is up-to-date.  Finally, they email Lakirta a copy of her resume and print three copies for her to take to interviews. She smiles as the volunteer hands the copies to her.

Samuel, here for the third time, is finally ready to apply to an open position. He hands his resume to the volunteer and explains that he has just earned his welding certification. After consulting the available positions, they find that an iron-working job is open.  Samuel reviews the job’s location, schedule, and wage range to verify that he is a good fit for the position. His information and the job opening are sent to our Employment Specialist so she can arrange an interview for Samuel. Our Employment Specialist will call him in a few days to set up a time to meet with him and prepare him for the interview.

The walk in hours are almost over, and there is no one waiting, so it’s time to start cleaning up.  All volunteers assist with cleanup and preparing for the next walk-in shift.