Volunteers can prepare housing for refugees in the following ways:

  1. Gather donations: Volunteers can collect donations of furniture and various household items for the refugee's home. See the Basic Needs Support Form for a list of the required items needed for the home. This list indicates the minimum requirements, but it is always the goal to provide more than the minimum. Used items are welcomed as long as they are in good shape. Mattresses and box springs, if not new, should be properly sanitized before being donated or come from a facility that sanitizes them. Toiletries should all be unused and all supplies unopened. Groups often utilize their greater church and community relationships as well as conducting donation drives to secure items for the home. WR encourages volunteers to secure as many of the needed items as possible, however if there are items the group is unable to secure WR can provide the needed items. Items not provided by the group will need to be purchased using the refugee's "Welcome Money", which is extremely limited if no other donated items can be secured by World Relief. Volunteers must keep track of all of the items donated using the BNS form. When volunteers complete the BNS form, they should give it to the resource specialist or case manager. This list should be submitted at least 3 days before the refugee family arrives so that the resource coordinator can secure and deliver any items still needed to complete the BNS form.

  2. Setting up a refugee’s home: Refugee’s housing should be fully furnished and set up before the refugee's arrival. If a group has agreed to provide the necessary household items and do the home setup, they should coordinate with World Relief to work out timing, receive addresses, keys, etc. The team can then do any necessary cleaning, move in furniture, and decorate and prepare the home at a time that works for them. If a group does not provide the needed household items, their assistance with setting the home up is still extremely helpful. Volunteers should coordinate with World Relief to work out a time to do the home setup.  

  3. Familiarize yourself with the refugee’s neighborhood: When partnering with a refugee, it is helpful for volunteers to make themselves familiar with the neighborhood and area where the refugees will be living. Identify local shopping, bus routes, parks, etc.  

  4. Prepare a fully stocked pantry and an arrival meal: Upon arrival, the refugee's pantry should be fully stocked and a culturally appropriate meal should be provided for them when they arrive in their new home. For more info and a list of culturally appropriate meals and grocery lists based on ethnicity, go to the Food section of this toolkit. 

  5. Tax Deductions: Gift in Kind Receipts can be requested for items purchased for or donated to World Relief or our clients. These receipts may serve as proof of the donation for tax purposes. If a donor purchased an item, he or she should turn in the receipt to WR in order to receive a deduction of the same value.