Volunteer Opportunities with JFCS East Bay

By Ami Dodson

JFCS East Bay continues to resettle record numbers of refugees. We have been working tirelessly since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan to welcome hundreds of newly arrived refugees to the East Bay. JFCS East Bay is extremely proud to report that, since August, we have resettled more than 530 individuals comprising approximately 195 families. We anticipate that we will resettle several hundred more clients in the coming months.

JFCS East Bay continues to help Afghan refugee families survive the most challenging moments of their lives, providing critical resources to ease their transition to a new home and empowering them to rebuild their lives in safety and freedom.

How you can help

Donations have been slowing down, but the needs have only increased. There is a good chance that we will receive Ukrainian refugees eventually, but the timeline is impossible to predict. If and when they do arrive, JFCS has pledged to be ready. In addition to requesting donations from our wish list, Volunteer Services at JFCS East Bay is looking for volunteers to get involved in the following ways:

  • ESL Tutors and Conversation Partners: We are looking for volunteers for our tutoring programs. Experienced tutors/teachers are preferred but we are grateful for anyone who would like to get involved.
  • Tax Advice 101: We are looking for experienced tax professionals to offer Zoom webinars on basic tax filing. We would provide a volunteer to translate the information into Dari as you present.
  • Haulers/Helpers: Do you own a truck? We need volunteers willing to deliver furniture items to clients. This usually involves picking up a couch (for example) from a donor and delivering it to a client in another city.
  • Mental Health Practitioners: Many of our clients experienced significant trauma fleeing Afghanistan and mental health resources are scarce. We are seeking mental health professionals to provide support for these clients, both in group settings and one on one.
If you would like to get involved in any of these ways, please email volunteers@jfcs-eastbay.org. Please remember that all volunteer opportunities with JFCS East Bay require proof of vaccination against COVID-19.

More ways to help

If you would like to help but aren’t available to participate in the ways listed above, please consider supporting our work in any of the following manners:

  • Donate excellent condition men’s and women’s bicycles. Please email wgreenberg@jfcs-eastbay.org if you have a bicycle to donate. We will then arrange an appointment for drop-off at our storage unit in Walnut Creek.
  • Purchase an item from our Wish List. With the record number of new arrivals, we are running low on certain items. The list is updated daily, so it always reflects our clients’ most current needs.
  • Send us Target gift cards. Target is the most versatile shopping option for our clients. These can be mailed directly to our office at 2151 Salvio Street, Suite 350, Concord, CA 94520.
  • Make a financial donation to support our work. You can easily donate via this link to our website.
  • Join our Facebook group JFCS East Bay Volunteers. When individual needs come up, we sometimes use this group to ask for volunteers. It’s also a great way to stay up to date on our work.
We are so proud to work in a community that understands the importance of caring for and supporting refugees. Because of the large Afghan population here, the East Bay is among the top resettlement destinations in the United States for evacuated Afghans. Thank you for your heartfelt partnership in welcoming our new neighbors.


Ami on behalf of the Volunteer Services team