When refugees arrive in the Twin Cities they face many challenges, including navigating our transportation system, adjusting to new customs, and often learning a new language.  Having a friend can make all the difference in bolstering their courage to try new things! Volunteer Befrienders provide the social support that greatly increases a refugee’s ability to transition to self-sufficiency. In the process, Befrienders will learn about their refugee friend’s culture and experience our community through the lens of their refugee friend.

Volunteer Activities:

  • Meet with your refugee friend 2-4 hours every week or every other week
  • Help your friend achieve a set of predetermined goals that they wish to accomplish, for example, learning to understand bills, acquiring a library card, or becoming confident taking public transportation.
  • Check in with the Volunteer Coordinator following your meeting with your refugee friend with a brief description of what you did, how it went, and how long you met so that MCC staff can help facilitate ongoing needs.

Volunteer Profile:

  • Cultural sensitivity
  • Ability to respond to refugee’s needs in a realistic, non-judgmental way
  • Willingness to engage in respectful communication with people who may have limited English language ability
  • Flexibility, promptness, and dependability
  • Reliable transportation to get to and from volunteer activities
  • Consistent communication with Volunteer and Outreach Specialist         


  • Six months
  • 2–4 hour shifts every week or every other week
  • Weekdays or weekends


Twin Cities

To Apply:

Contact the Volunteer Coordinator at 612-230-3291 or