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.
Interested in volunteering?
Check out the opportunities below
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*
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.
Location: San Diego, California
Visit their sign up form to learn more and sign up for available time slots.
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.
Location: Tucson, AZ
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
RAICES is looking for fluent Spanish-speaking volunteers to travel to San Antonio to support asylum seekers in detention centers.
Location: San Antonio, Texas
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 Action – Developed by UUSC, UUA, and UUCSJ
Supporting People in Immigration Detention – Information curated by Freedom For Immigrants
Directory of Community Bail Funds – by the Community Justice Exchange
Sanctuary Everywhere – Resources from the American Friends Service Committee
Changing Systems, Changing Ourselves – Anti-Racist practice for Sanctuary, Accompaniment, and Resistance
Articles on Activism
- A Journey to the Heart of the Immigration Dilemma – Two RAICES volunteers share their stories on volunteering at the Karnes Detention Center near San Antonio, Texas
- From Honduras to the U.S.: Migrant Rights are Under Attack by Rev. Kathleen McTigue, UUSC Director of Advocacy and Justice Education
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