Help your neighbor. Get involved!
Our clinics are a welcoming and safe place that provide clients assistance with form preparation under the supervision of our attorneys and generous volunteers who have given their time to helping immigrants in need. We hope that you will find a way to get involved with one of the ways listed below.
Do you have good people skills and an interest in meeting people from different cultures? Can you provide a warm welcome while at the same time collecting very personal and confidential information?
Frequency of service: up to 1 time per month/10 months per year
Length of time: 1 – 3 hours
Days of Service: vary by site
JFON hosts form preparation clinics regularly through the year — these are different from our intake clinics. This clinics include:
- Refugee Green Card Clinics: in which we assist refugees to apply for legal permanent residency (AKA their green cards).
- Citizenship Clinics: in which we assist legal permanent residents to apply for citizenship.
These clinics are generally on a Saturday. Form Prep Volunteer training begins at 9:00 am. Clients arrive for appointments at 10 am and 12 pm. You may serve at one or both shifts (10 am or 12 pm). Clinics end around 2 pm. We generally have a greater need for hospitality, child care, and support than usual.
Frequency of service: 2 Refugee Green Card Clinics per year. 2 Citizenship Clinics per year.
Length of time: 2 – 5 hours (depending on training and appointments)
Days of Service: Saturday mornings
Form Prep Clinic Volunteer Roles:
Form prep — requires training that begins at 9:00 am
Hospitality Coordinator – advance prep necessary to arrange for food and refreshments
Room Set-up (8:30 start) and Room Break-down (1:00 pm start)
Are you bi-lingual and able to help us translate client statements and documents? Are you interested in answering and returning phone calls? Are you willing to help us make copies and support us on administrative tasks? We have varying opportunities for office help.
Frequency of service: generally 1 day per week
Length of time: 1-4 hours
Days of Service: Flexible
Do you have a passion to educate and advocate in support of the immigrant – the second and equally important half of JFON? Can you help organize outreach events at schools, local churches, university campuses, and community organizations? Are you interested in representing and speaking on behalf of JFON at community events? We will provide the resources and training.
Frequency of service: 3-4 times per year
Length of time: 4 hours
Days of Service: Flexible
Do you like to work behind the scenes to help maintain and grow project funding? Do you have technical writing skills to assist in grant applications of donor recruitment/management experience to build our support base?
Frequency of service: 4-5 times per year
Length of time: 8 hours
Days of Service: Flexible; can work from home
How else can I help?
If time is sparse or if our clinic locations are too far from you, here are some additional ways you can help.
- Support JFON-West Michigan with a financial or in-kind gift
- Invite us to give a presentation at your organization
- Reach out to a neighbor in need – share this resource
- Encourage your employer or group to make a “matching gift”
- Study immigration issues and be an advocate for justice
READY TO JOIN US?
I was on the fence on which area of law I wanted to work in. After working at JFON, I knew immigration law is what I am meant to be doing. I got to see firsthand how important JFON is to the people here in Grand Rapids and the lives they touch. I volunteered nearly 55 hours at JFON last semester and I look forward to continuing my time at their organization.
Samantha PepperockJFON West Michigan Volunteer
Volunteering at JFON provided an opportunity to interact with clients during clinics. This opportunity opened up a door to a hands-on opportunity to learn more about immigration law while giving back to the community. I recommend it to my peers because I strongly believe it is a great organization to get involved with and to learn more about immigration law.