USAHello’s “Get involved” pages provide information about advocacy, volunteering, and creating a welcoming community.
Start here to answer your questions about community engagement.
If you live in an area with large newcomer communities, you will find local organizations that may need your help. Search FindHello for organizations that help refugees, immigrants and asylum seekers. Find ideas for welcoming activities. Learn how to be a mentor. Think about community partnerships that can create opportunities for newcomers.
Some ways of talking to people are far more effective than others – you will have more success in changing hearts and minds if you listen first, find common ground, address values rather than policies, and focus on economics. Learn about effective messaging and communication.
You can work both nationally and locally to advocate for fair immigration policies and opportunities for immigrant Americans. You can join organizations, sign petitions, submit comments on legislation, and organize events. On a more personal level, you can learn how to talk to community members who have concerns about immigration. By raising awareness in your community, you can help to make your community more inclusive.
Welcoming America offers membership to its network of governments and organizations. Members commit to advancing welcoming efforts in their community, and they receive training to create their framework. You will need the support of your local government or an appropriate nonprofit to join the network. Welcoming America also partnered with the New American Economy to create Gateways for Growth Challenge that helps communities develop economically successful, diverse communities.
Unless you know one personally, the most effective way to sponsor a college student could be through a local college foundation or community foundation. Instead of focusing on one individual, a foundation can create a scholarship in your name. Find an accredited community foundation near you, or speak to your community college. You can also look at our scholarships page to see where and how personal foundations are helping immigrant students.
If you live in an area with a large newcomer population, a good first step would be to contact local organizations that provide services or training to newcomers. These include resettlement offices, government job centers, Goodwill training centers, English and citizenship programs, and human services organizations.
In your recruitment process, make it clear that you welcome newcomers. Consider offering English classes, computer training, and other programs that help newcomers succeed – you can collaborate with a local college or contact the New American Workforce project that supports employers who help their employees succeed.
Helping to fund the organizations and people who are already working at the border is the most effective contribution you can make, unless you can volunteer your skills as a lawyer, a medical professional, or an interpreter of Spanish or indigenous languages. Here are some border organizations that can use your help.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Migration and Refugee Services oversees the placement and care of unaccompanied, refugee, and immigrant children through a national network of 12 state-licensed foster care programs. Learn how to become a foster parent to unaccompanied children.
As an immigrant yourself, you can bring an extra level of help and understanding to mentoring new arrivals in the United States. Introducing people to the community, offering interpretation and translation, helping to navigate systems – all of these are valuable supports. You can also help by translating some of our pages into your native language or by giving feedback on the USAHello website and classroom so we can continue to improve our resources.
These resources will help volunteers or professionals interacting in newcomer communities:
- USAHello’s get informed pages will give you an overview of immigration, asylum, US policy, and cultural issues.
- FindHello will help you locate resources and opportunities in your own community.
- Find free translation resources to help you communicate with non-English speakers.
- Learn about setting healthy boundaries in your work with newcomers.
- Improve your cultural awareness and cross-cultural competence.
- Find cultural background information for newcomer groups in the USA.
- Enroll our in free online course for educators of refugee and immigrant students.