Refugee Ministry

May 2023: Thank you to all who participated in Refugee Ministry's spring Welcome-Kit supply drive! 

From Jim Bono and Lee Thomsen: “A huge thank you to the OSLC congregants who helped us put together a welcome kit for a World Relief Chicagoland refugee family. We now have all the nonfurniture items needed to help a refugee family move into an apartment of their own. This will create a stable home environment from which to begin their job search and English as a Second Language training. We are very grateful to everyone who participated!!”

Our Saviour’s has a long history of working with World Relief Chicagoland to resettle individuals with refugee status in DuPage and Kane counties.

We solicit cash donations to help with immediate resettlement needs (food, bus pass etc.,) To donate, click here:

We also encourage congregants to pursue one of our many different volunteer opportunities to work with refugee families. This includes everything from pulling together home furnishings to tutoring to providing transportation to medical appointments. To volunteer, click here: 

Our Saviour’s helps resettle refugees from around the world, but at present, we are concerned in particular with helping to settle refugees from Afghanistan and the Ukraine. If you can volunteer or donate, the need is especially great now.

OSLC groups (or a group of families) can make a significant impact by gathering the materials for a Welcome Pack. These are the materials (aside from furniture) needed to furnish an apartment. Plates, towels, and other basic supplies are needed so an apartment is move-in-ready when a family arrives at O’Hare. Welcome Pack materials are gathered and delivered to the World Relief office in Carol Stream. A list of Welcome Pack items can be found here:

The Refugee ministry also typically sponsors donation drives between Halloween and Thanksgiving for new or clean, gently used winter coats. Gift cards (Jewel, Walmart, Uber, etc.) can be mailed directly to the Carol Stream office at 191 S. Gary Ave., Carol Stream, IL 60188.

Finally, Our Saviour’s has historically accepted gifts of furniture and housewares which are used to furnish refugee apartments. Because of reduced storage capacity at World Relief’s new Carol Stream office, it may not be possible to accept every gift. If you have a potential gift, please fill out this online form and we will let you know if the gift can be accepted at the present time.

Additional ways to get involved

Each week we will be sharing additional opportunities to get involved with the Refugee Ministry.

  • Youth Tutor Opportunities

    Build relationships by coming alongside a refugee or immigrant youth and their parent(s) as they adjust to homework, school, and parenting in the U.S. Assist with homework, English basics and parent networking 1.5 hours per week for 4 – 6 months. Focused on providing support to children and their parents by working on homework and building understanding of the American school system, the home-based setting provides a different opportunity for connection. For additional information contact our volunteer onboarding coordinator who fields initial questions and helps people walk through the steps to become a volunteer. His name is Jake, and his email is

  • English Language Tutor

    Practice conversational English and language skills with an adult refugee or immigrant, becoming friends in the process! (Note: Language tutors must be Illinois residents due to funding stipulations). Individuals with existing ESL certifications or persons willing to participate in a 7-hour ESL training are needed. Two hours/week for four-six months (one semester) commitment. For additional information contact the Education Volunteer Coordinator, Courtney at To sign up for this volunteer opportunity, please click this link:

  • Friendship Partner

    Combat loneliness and isolation through intentional friendship. Get to know a refugee or immigrant family and help them feel known and connected by providing consistent friendship and cultural empowerment, while assisting in practical ways. To sign up for this or other volunteer opportunities, please click this link:

  • Young Adult Mentor

    Mentor a young adult refugee as they prepare for the next step in their higher education or career path, building their confidence and your relationship in the process. World Relief DuPage/Aurora seeks volunteers willing to work with young persons (18-24), with possibility of some aged 15-18) to help them become “job-ready” in a variety of vocational fields. The focus is on how to apply for jobs, interview, arrange transportation and evaluate/begin different training programs that might be related to their field of interest. Specific job knowledge is not required – just a willingness to help a young person sort through their options. Commitment is about 1.5 hours every other week for six months. For additional information contact Jake at

  • After School Tutor

    Help refugee kids with homework after school hours. Looking for volunteers to give two hours per week at Wheaton and Aurora locations. Elementary/Middle/High school opportunities available for Aurora. Elementary opportunities available in Wheaton. 1.5 hours/week and on-site training provided by World Relief. For additional information, contact Jake at  

  • Health Advocate

    Provide friendship and support remotely to a refugee or asylee individual or family who is facing extra challenges or barriers to receiving the services they need or is simply experiencing additional stress under COVID. To sign up for an orientation to this or other volunteer opportunities, please click this link:


    Create a welcoming environment for refugees and immigrants in their new homes by delivering and setting up household items. To attend an orientation for this or other volunteer opportunities, please click this link: