In addition to partial rent support, we are organizing to welcome refugee families well. We are forming Support Teams - each with five to seven adults, who complete adult and child protection, cultural, and trauma awareness training - and who play defined roles supporting a family as they settle in the area.
Over 70 people have stepped forward to join a Support Team or otherwise lend volunteer support to the Welcoming Refugees effort so far, as we build a community of neighbors by making Falls Church more welcoming to refugees.
Are you interested in organizing or leading a team, working with friends, your church, temple, or mosque, or another organization, or in joining an established team? Please let us know by filling out this form! Please note: filling out our Support Team Interest Form does not obligate you to any specific volunteer role. We will be in touch with you to confirm how and when you’d get involved. (Thank you for filling out the form – it will enable us to form teams well.)
Here are some of the specific roles that volunteers can play as we prepare for incoming families:
Support Team roles, tasks, and responsibilities:
OVERALL TEAM LEAD or CO-LEAD--coordinator of relationship with family and Support Team colleagues, and point of contact for a resettlement agency partner (training and scheduling)
FURNITURE/FURNISHING--coordinates with our logistics coordinator to inventory furniture and household goods, defines needs for a donation drive, co-leads "move-in day" and works with family after move-in to identify needs for additional furniture and furnishings
AIRPORT ARRIVAL and WELCOME MEAL--when applicable and in coordination with a resettlement agency partner, arranges to meet the family at the airport, and to provide their first meal upon arrival
ESOL SUPPORT--coordinates with the Welcoming Falls Church Adult & Family Literacy Center and provides informal tutorial support
RIDES and LOCAL LOGISTICS--willing to help with visits to doctors, government offices, etc.; help family members learn how to use public transportation
COMMUNITY CONNECTION--ongoing coordination with Welcoming FC and community organizations (schools, City, etc.) to support school registration and connect people locally, etc.
CHILD CARE SUPPORT--occasional babysitting for job interviews and other appointments
Longer term roles, tasks, and responsibilities - note these roles involve working with multiple Support Teams and with more than one Support Team:
ESOL-- teach, serve as assistant teacher, or tutor with Welcoming FC's Adult & Family Literacy Center; ensure that family members are enrolled in English classes as quickly as possible; coordinate transportation to classes as needed
HOUSING-- work with landlords (apartments and single family houses) and develop and support Welcoming FC's Welcoming Landlord Network
JOB MENTORING-- in conjunctions with resettlement agency partner and coordinating with resources available in Falls Church; support family members in their job search and develop Welcoming FC's Welcoming Employer Network
COMMUNITY GUIDE-- get people involved and together! serve as coordinating reference for community activities and opportunities to get involved in Falls Church; expand their circle of acquaintances
CHILD CARE SUPPORT-- offer occasional babysitting for job interviews and other appointments
SCHOOL TUTORING-- be a tutor and "study buddy" for school-age children
APARTMENT/HOUSE FURNISHING-- help with "move-in days" with multiple families, supporting Support Teams with know-how and experience
GENERAL ADMINISTRATION-- help Welcoming FC with partnerships, administration, finance, etc.
COMMUNICATIONS-- help with communications including management of translations of certain documents
Contact us. If you have any questions email Rebecca Shaw, Welcoming Refugees Volunteer Coordinator. We look forward to meeting you. Thank you for your interest!
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