Volunteer Program

About the
Volunteer Program

This program is designed to be a powerful opportunity for individuals who are willing to lend their time, compassion, and skills to leave a meaningful impact with one of our partner organizations – while also deepening their understanding of systems of injustice and reflecting on one’s personal connection to justice work.

How UUCSJ understands volunteering

  • We strive to place the needs of our partners first
  • We strive to move at the speed of trust
  • We strive to constantly reflect on and dismantle the saviorism often inherent in cross-cultural volunteer work

To learn more, read our guide:

Interested in volunteering?
Check out the opportunities below

Annunciation House

Annunciation House is a volunteer, non-profit organization providing accompaniment and basic emergency services to asylum seekers at the border. With the current number of people arriving from Central America and the coming caravan from Honduras, they are in need of volunteers to help with intakes, transportation, travel arrangements, the clothing bank, and providing meals.

*Annunciation House currently is not accepting out of town volunteers*

Visit Annunciation House’s website for more information >>

Al Otro Lado

Al Otro Lado is a bi-national (U.S. and Mexico) organization offering direct legal services to underserved deportees, migrants, and refugees. Due to the diverse needs of the individuals and families they serve, they coordinate with legal and non-legal professionals in a range of areas such as family law, labor law, criminal law, and employment law. More details >> 

Date/s: Ongoing; one week minimum
Location: Tijuana, Mexico or San Diego, California


Al Otro Lado is also looking for volunteers to monitor the Migrant Persecution Protocols in the San Diego Immigration Court. Volunteers do not need to be an immigration attorney to be a court observer

Dates/s: Weekdays
Location: San Diego, California

Visit their sign up form to learn more and sign up for available time slots.

Casa Alitas

Casa Alitas, also known as the Alitas Program of Catholic Community Services (CCS), is a humanitarian aid project committed to providing assistance to asylum-seekers released from ICE and Border Patrol detention into our community. Volunteers offer support by providing hospitality, including housing, food, clothing, toiletries, advocacy, and travel assistance. Their goal is to provide a welcoming, comfortable, safe and healthy location for the guests to await their journeys, and to prepare them to reunite with family across the country.

Date/s: Ongoing
Location: Tucson, AZ

Click here for more details >>

FM4 Paso Libre

FM4 Paso Libre, is a non-profit organization that works to defend and promote the human rights of migrants and refugees in the west part of Mexico through comprehensive support, advocacy and research.

Date/s: Year Round, Minimum one month of service
Location: Guadalajara, Mexico

More details >> 


RAICES is looking for fluent Spanish-speaking volunteers to travel to San Antonio to support asylum seekers in detention centers.

Dates: Ongoing
Location: San Antonio, Texas

More details >> 

Already Volunteered?
Stay Engaged!

Share Your Experience

UUCSJ would love to hear about your volunteer experience and understand how we can best continue to support your continued activism.

UUCSJ hosts monthly calls for returned volunteers to foster continued personal growth, learning, reflection, action, AND meaningful connections with other volunteers. Keep an eye out for emails from our volunteer coordinator for the next call!

Volunteer Community on Facebook

Click here to join the UUCSJ Volunteer Community on Facebook. Returned volunteers are encouraged to use this space to share helpful resources, ask questions, and share ideas on how to stay engaged in justice work following your volunteer experience. This is a closed group moderated by UUCSJ staff.

Individual and Group Actions

Sanctuary & Solidarity: Options for Congregational ActionDeveloped by UUSC, UUA, and UUCSJ

Supporting People in Immigration DetentionInformation curated by Freedom For Immigrants

Directory of Community Bail Fundsby the Community Justice Exchange

Sanctuary EverywhereResources from the American Friends Service Committee

Changing Systems, Changing Ourselves – Anti-Racist practice for Sanctuary, Accompaniment, and Resistance

Congregational Asset Mapping Inventory Checklist

Articles on Activism

Know Before You Go

  • Volunteers must be at least 18 years old to participate; UUCSJ does not organize volunteer placements for families with children
  • If background checks are required to volunteer, UUCSJ cannot assist with obtaining background checks. For more information, visit Criminal Watch Dog
  • UUCSJ requires that all volunteers have or will have health insurance that will cover them in the volunteer location
  • UUCSJ does not have funding available to assist volunteers when traveling to and from volunteer locations, nor for self-support while at the volunteer site (e.g. internal transportation, food, medical needs)
  • For many locations, UUCSJ requires that all volunteers have received a tetanus shot within 9 months of the volunteer opportunity
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