How can I help in the coronavirus pandemic?

Many immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers in the USA are facing even larger challenges than other Americans during the coronavirus pandemic. Their access to healthcare, financial relief and other supports is limited. Many are more vulnerable to COVD-19 than other Americans. We’ve put together some ideas for how you can help.

How can I help with donations?

For those of us who are lucky enough to have an income, one of the most valuable actions is to donate to help those who have lost income or lack resources during the coronavirus emergency.

Help to fund translations
Donate to USAHello – help us translate our coronavirus materials and other resources into more languages to reach a wider audience.

Help with computers and internet access
Many families with children trying to study at home have no access to their schools’ distance learning programs. These organizations help families in need get connected:

Support a local business
Don’t forget your neighbors who run small food businesses and are struggling to survive. Even if you would not usually order takeout, do it now!

How can I help as a volunteer?

Tutor a child online
Children across the country are distance learning right now. You can help those who struggle with English, reading and writing, or math. Contact your local school district to see how you can help with online one-on-one tutoring,

Help an adult learn English
Speak brings together newcomers and locals living in the same city through community-led language groups and cultural exchange events. Speak is offering free, daily, two-week language instruction to participants, and it needs volunteer instructors. Your local community may also offer online English tutoring opportunities.

Become a community partner
Contact your local refugee resettlement agency or other volunteer groups to see if you can sponsor a newcomer or undocumented family in need. Look in FindHello to find organizations in your community.

How can I help as an advocate?

Thousands of asylum seekers who have committed no crime are in detention in the USA. The conditions in detention facilities are dangerous due to overcrowding and a lack of hygiene and personal protective equipment. Advocate to release detainees by signing a petition on Amnesty’s website. For more information, read Amnesty’s report.

Call or write to your local, state and federal elected officials and ask that future emergency aid includes undocumented workers, who pay billions of dollars in federal taxes every year but do not qualify for relief assistance or stimulus funds.

You can also follow the tips in the State Action Toolkit for a Refugee and Immigrant Inclusive Response to COVID-19. The toolkit, created by Church World Service, features the top five priorities state and local officials can take action on and additional resources for communities to take action.

How can I fight discrimination and stigma?

Across the USA, people are being targeted because of fears about COVID-19. What can you do to help?

How can refugees and immigrants help?

Millions of refugees and immigrants are already helping in countless ways to keep other Americans safe and to provide essential services during the pandemic.

Here are some additional ways refugees and immigrants can use their specific skills:

If you have health or medical experience

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) has set up to enable refugees and immigrants in the USA to register their interest in working on the COVID response in their local community or elsewhere.

If you are available to volunteer

  • Across the country, food pantries and food banks that serve the public have had to furlough their older volunteers who are more vulnerable to serious health outcomes with COVD-19. Many have or will soon have a shortage of volunteers. Contact your local food bank if you are able to leave your home and volunteer for a few hours a week.
  • The Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is a national network of volunteers, organized locally to improve the health and safety of their communities. MRC volunteers include medical and public health professionals, as well as other community members without healthcare backgrounds.
  • USAHello is always looking for volunteers, and we all work remotely from home. Join our team of translators to help convert important information on our website into your language.