Become a Volunteer

Here at City of Refuge, we see the value in everyone. We want to be a catalyst for positive change, and since our beginning, we’ve been driven by support, empowerment, and progress. Volunteering with City of Refuge is a great way to get involved and learn more about our organization. Get started by filling out our volunteer application!

Ongoing Volunteer Opportunities
  • Homework Helpers. The Homework Helpers program provides students with academic help in a fun, positive environment. Tutors assist students with homework and building critical English and social skills. Students come from a wide variety of ages, cultural backgrounds, and skill levels. You may be assisting with anything from learning the English alphabet to high school-level algebra! You may provide transportation for a student to and from COR in your personal vehicle if you wish, but it is not required. There will also be opportunities to work with the high-school aged youth group.
    • When:
      • Wednesday nights, 6-8 pm at City of Refuge
      • Thursday nights, 6-8 pm at Midway Heights Baptist Church
    • Requirements:
      • Background check through Checkr ($12 donation)
      • Complete Protect MO Kids abuse prevention training and submit certificate
      • Attend Zoom volunteer training
      • Photocopy of driver’s license and insurance card if transporting students
    • Commitment: 1 year commitment preferred, but can commit for a semester if needed. It is okay to take time off during exams or a particularly busy time, then return when you are able.


  • English Buddy Program. The English Buddy program is designed to partner English speakers with refugees; our goal is to provide friendship as well as to provide language acquisition mentorship.  Citizenship studies, language acquisition, homework help, and driving instruction are the primary focuses of this program.  Tutors are paired by gender and meet their students in the home once a week for up to two hours.  Each family is personally visited by the program coordinator to ensure that it is safe and a good environment for learning. The level of preparation for each meeting is determined by the level of the student; reviewing the lesson before each meeting is necessary.  Our program coordinator is an experienced EL teacher and is available for additional support or training.
    • When: TBD according by the schedules of each students and teacher pairing
    • Requirements:
      • Background check through Checkr ($12 donation)
      • Complete Protect MO Kids abuse prevention training for approx. two hours (can be done incrementally) and then submit certificate
      • Attend Zoom volunteer training for approx. one hour


      • 1 year commitment requested, two hours each week
      • Willingness to prepare for each lesson before visiting the student


  • Front Desk. Our front desk is a critical role at City of Refuge! As refugees come in our front door, we rely on warm, friendly faces greeting our friends. Our front desk person will help with a myriad of things, including helping refugees “shop” in our wardrobe and Basic Needs Closet. We have the following open slots still available:
    • Monday:
      • 12:00-2:00pm
      • 2:00-4:00pm
    • Tuesday: 11:00-1:00pm
    • Wednesday:
      • 12:00pm-2:00pm
      • 2:00pm-4:00pm


  • City Boutique & Donation Sorting. We are THRILLED to have our own storefront that allows us to sell any excess or not needed in-kind donations we receive. All proceeds from City Boutique go directly into Refugee Care and Programs. We always need volunteers to help with sorting donations, cash register, restocking, general upkeep, pricing/tagging, customer service, etc. Fill out our application our contact us to let us know when you are available! We’ll accept any/all help and you’ll receive all necessary training your first time with us.
    • When:
      • Monday-Friday, 9:00am-4:00pm at City Boutique (10 N. Garth Ave.)
  • Artisan Studio. We are looking for community volunteers to help us launch our Refugee Artisan Studio space! You may be the perfect fit!
    • Studio Supervisor: We’re looking for some volunteers in our community who have some sewing machine experience to supervise our sewing studio during Open Studio Hours in the afternoons for our refugee women. We’re looking for a weekly commitment during an afternoon a week (i.e. 12-2pm or 2-4pm) to be available if women run into any issues with the machines they are working on!  Your presence will allow us to keep our machines in good working order so that more women can use them each week. Contact Stefanie if you have more questions (stefanie@cityofrefugecolumbia.org) or fill out an application today!
    • Artisan Workshop Teacher: Do you have a skillset that you want to share with our refugee women- something like candle making, soap-making, cookie decorating, crafting, etc., etc.?? We are planning a 2023 calendar of artisan workshops and would love to fit you in! You would come and teach a classroom of women from all over the world your trade for 2-3 hours. Our hope is that during this time they would learn a new skillset, build more community, and do something enjoyable. Who knows, maybe they will also love what you do and want to learn and grow in your trade even more! Contact Stefanie if you have more questions (stefanie@cityofrefugecolumbia.org) or fill out an application today!  We’d love to share your giftings with our refugee friends!


  • Pregnancy Partner. Consider volunteering as a pregnancy, postpartum or family support partner. In this role you would be expected to provide  physical and emotional support to the refugee women during their pregnancy journey, from babysitting, to helping them navigate the healthcare system and helping to prepare for the baby’s arrival. As a volunteer you would need to have your own transport, be flexible, and be able to commit at least two hours a week to the program. In this role we welcome creativity from our volunteers as we find ways to advocate and support our refugee families.
    • When: TBD according to the needs of the individual moms and families.
    • Requirements:
      • Background check through Checkr ($12 donation)
      • Attend Zoom volunteer training for approx. one hour
      • Driver’s license and own, insured vehicle
    • Commitment: 
      • Both long and short term opportunities to volunteer in this role exist, the commitment would depend on the needs of the family.


  • Are you Handy? With the transition to our new, MUCH bigger facility, we are always on the lookout for more handy folks that can help us fix minor things throughout our building. Contact Garrett if you can help!

Community Events

Volunteer for one our community events. City of Refuge has community events that benefit our refugees and the services we offer to them. Our events range from dinners to golf tournaments, to family events! Check back often to see


Monetary Gifts

We can provide more services and resources to refugees with your generous gifts. If you would like to make a donation to City of Refuge, click here or mail a check payable to City of Refuge to 10 N. Garth Ave., Columbia MO 65203. Your contributions are sincerely appreciated.

City of Refuge is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and all gifts are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law.

Thank you for considering City of Refuge as an outlet for your time and resource. If you have any questions on how you can get involved, contact us at info@cityofrefugecolumbia.org for more information!