US Committee for Refugees & Immigrants (USCRI)


Mission: In the neighborhoods across Des Moines, Iowa, we open doors for uprooted people, helping the world’s most vulnerable rebuild their lives. We are part of a nationwide network that breaks through social, cultural, and economic barriers so previously interrupted lives can flourish. The first welcome begins with navigating American culture, laying solid foundations for a fresh start, and making essential community connections to successfully integrate into our community.

Location: Des Moines (55 miles from Grinnell College)

Needs: USCRI Des Moines has a number of volunteer positions open including administrative support, donations management, apartment set up, bus training, client transportation to and from appointments, summarizing case notes, and State ID procurement. These are ongoing opportunities with training that provide a chance for continued service.



  • One-time events: yes
  • Ongoing: yes, 1 to 2 times a month is best

When is service needed: August – January is busiest, tho year-round service is always needed

Number of hours: 1 to 2 hours, 1 to 2 times a month is best

Modality: in-person only


Prerequisites: A background check must be completed, as well as 25-30 minute volunteer orientation which is help the first and third Tuesday of each month at 6:30 on Zoom.

Background check required: yes

Equipment/logistics needed: Vehicle, drivers license, proof of insurance


Training supplied: What populations we serve, where they come from, guidelines on interacting with vulnerable populations, expectations for volunteers, Q & A


How to apply: Apply at, the USCRI Volunteer Application through Better Impact.  Any questions, e-mail

Contact: Leila Doric, volunteer coordinator, 515-528-7525,


Operation information: The USCRI Des Moines Field Office has welcomed over 4,000 refugees from around the world to Central Iowa since 2010. Refugees resettled in Central Iowa primarily come from Afghanistan, Burma, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, and Syria. Newly arrived refugees receive comprehensive services including housing placement, cultural orientation, school enrollment, healthcare coordination, and employment preparation and placement. USCRI Des Moines also serves survivors of human trafficking and refugees and immigrants who have been in the U.S. for longer periods of time.

Address: 1200 University Ave Des Moines, IA 50314

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