Press | 200+ Organizations Signal Support for the Welcome Corps, New Service Opportunity for Private Refugee Sponsorship
For Immediate Release:
January 19, 2023

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200+ Organizations Signal Support for the Welcome Corps, New Service Opportunity for Private Refugee Sponsorship

U.S. government program aims to mobilize 10,000 Americans to welcome refugees through private sponsorship in 2023

Washington, D.C. — Today, more than 200 diverse organizations are signaling their support for the Welcome Corps, a new U.S. government community service program that allows everyday Americans to privately sponsor refugees from around the world—representing the boldest innovation in refugee resettlement in more than 40 years, grounded in the generosity and compassion of American communities.

Over the last year, Americans from every corner of the country have stepped up to welcome first Afghans, then Ukrainians, and then people in need of safety from our own hemisphere, including Venezuelans, Haitians, Cubans, and Nicaraguans. Now, with the launch of the Welcome Corps, the U.S. government is making it possible for Americans to sponsor refugees from all around the world. Many of these refugees have lived for decades in refugee camps worldwide, often unable to leave freely, earn a living, rebuild their lives—and make contributions—in the warm embrace of a new community.

“When Americans welcome, communities flourish. Newly arriving refugees have been forced to flee, leaving behind their communities and livelihoods, with some in search of a safe place to call home for years. Whether you are a business owner, teacher, stay-at-home parent, nurse, or store clerk, the Welcome Corps equips you with the resources you need to work together and share knowledge of your community with refugees as they adapt to life in America,” said Sarah Krause, Executive Director and Co-founder of the Community Sponsorship Hub.

“We know that Americans’ capacity to welcome is far greater than what our government can do alone. The Welcome Corps is the newest massive innovation in the refugee resettlement system that will make it possible for everyday Americans to do what we do best—be a good neighbor, a guide, and a friend to people finding their way in a new community,” said Nazanin Ash, CEO of Welcome.US.

“The United States has long been a humanitarian leader for those fleeing violence and persecution. With over 100 million people displaced worldwide, the launch of the Welcome Corps is a much-needed pathway to help additional people find safety through the American spirit of welcome. The International Rescue Committee is proud to support the launch of this effort and join Americans from all walks of life and across the nation to welcome refugees,” said David Miliband, President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee.

“We are thrilled to support the Welcome Corps as it expands the joy of sponsorship to new groups and communities across the United States and increases our nation’s capacity to resettle refugees. The Welcome Corps builds upon a decades-long proud tradition of community sponsorship and local partnership in refugee resettlement. We look forward to more communities having the opportunity to experience the life-changing work of sponsorship by coming alongside new arrivals with the friendship and support they need to thrive,” said Rick Santos, President and CEO of Church World Service.

“The Welcome Corps is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to directly engage communities in the resettlement process and allow more refugees to find a safe place to call home. Creating a permanent private sponsorship program is a crucial and historical innovation in U.S. refugee admissions to increase capacity, strengthen communities, and deepen connections between new neighbors,” said Becca Heller, Executive Director of the International Refugee Assistance Project.

“Like the Peace Corps—created more than 60 years ago—the Welcome Corps is rooted in American principles of generosity, compassion, and volunteerism. The Welcome Corps Volunteers will help strengthen communities across America, while welcoming persecuted people from around the world and helping them start new lives,” said Chris George, Director of Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services and former Peace Corps Volunteer.

Through the Welcome Corps, Americans work in groups of at least five to welcome newcomers by securing and preparing initial housing, greeting refugee newcomers at the airport, enrolling children in school, and helping adults to find employment. Most importantly, they offer a sense of welcome, belonging, and inclusion for families that have left far more than their worldly goods behind—they have left behind friends, families, and the social networks that help us thrive. These shared acts of welcome bring communities together while making it easier for newcomers to adjust to life in the United States. The program aims to mobilize at least 10,000 Americans in 2023 to welcome refugees through private sponsorship.

Leaders from across the resettlement, faith, service, and government communities are voicing their strong support for this bold new program that will dramatically expand America’s ability to welcome newcomers.

“HIAS welcomes the Welcome Corps! In 2021, with the mass evacuation of Afghans, HIAS was the first resettlement agency to augment network capacity through ‘welcome circles,’ partnering with American synagogues to receive Afghans and, later, Ukrainians. We were, however, troubled that these newcomers entered the U.S. as temporary ‘parolees’—without the legal protections enjoyed by refugees, such as pathways to family reunion and a green card. The Welcome Corps solves that problem by allowing groups outside of traditional resettlement networks to receive refugees with peace of mind—with pathways to family unity, green cards, and citizenship. A welcome development,” said Mark Hetfield, President and CEO of HIAS.

“Colorado welcomes newcomers from around the world, and I am proud of how Coloradans have stepped up to support those seeking refuge and freedom. The Welcome Corps will create a permanent pathway for Americans to sponsor newcomers from around the world, making it easier for those who wish to help refugees and enabling newcomers to learn about their new community from those who know it best. While we continue to call on Congress to secure our borders and pass comprehensive immigration reform, this new program provides a path to safety for many people,” said Colorado Governor Jared Polis.

“As active and engaged changemakers within the communities we serve, Rotary’s members see how war, natural disasters, and civil unrest are among the many forces driving millions of people from their homes, communities, and countries. Our global network supports refugee resettlement in ways that meet local needs. Our U.S.-based Rotary members are continuing these efforts through collaboration with Welcome.US to help Ukrainians and Afghans seeking refuge in the United States, and we applaud the call for expanded private support to welcome all newcomers,” saidJohn Hewko, General Secretary and CEO of Rotary International.

“Ensuring newly-arrived refugees thrive in their new communities requires sustained community involvement and cooperation across governments, community leaders, non-profit organizations, and the private sector. We are thankful for the efforts of the U.S. government and Welcome.US in supporting a sponsorship program that will allow more Americans to welcome refugees with open arms, and will continue to invest in its partners to help bridge the critical gap in housing needs for newcomers,” saidJoe Gebbia, Co-founder of Airbnb and Chairman of

“LGBTQI+ people are facing increasing persecution around the world, and LGBTQI+ persons seeking refuge have a critical need for networks of support throughout the process of resettlement. The Welcome Corps represents a major step in the Biden administration’s goal of advancing LGBTQI+ rights worldwide. Rainbow Railroad is excited about this program, which will empower communities of care across the United States to support LGBTQI+ people at risk,” said Dr. Kimahli Powell, CEO of Rainbow Railroad.

Applications for the Welcome Corps will be accepted beginning January 19, 2023. Americans interested in learning more about sponsorship should visit

The Welcome Corps was launched by the Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), and is being implemented by a consortium of six organizations with expertise in refugee resettlement, protection, and welcome. Led by the Community Sponsorship Hub, the consortium includes Church World Service/Refugee Welcome Collective, Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services (IRIS), International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP), International Rescue Committee (IRC), and Welcome.US.

Refugee newcomers who arrive through the Welcome Corps will follow an established government process that includes extensive security vetting and health checks. They will have refugee status, employment authorization, access to key public benefits like health insurance, and can eventually apply for U.S. citizenship. The Welcome Corps program provides sponsor groups with access to tools and resources, including a budget template, fundraising support, an arrival checklist, and ongoing guidance throughout the initial sponsorship period.

The 200+ organizations expressing support for the Welcome Corps includes:

  • #AfghanEvac

  • Afghan-American Foundation (AAF)

  • Afghan-American Women Association (A-AWA)

  • Afghan American Muslim Outreach (AAMO)

  • Afghan Community Culture Center, Inc. (ACCC)

  • Afghanistan Youth Relief Foundation (AYRF)


  • Alianta

  • Alianza Americas

  • Alight 

  • Amaanah Refugee Services

  • American Immigration Council (AIC)

  • American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)

  • American Muslim Women Association of Arizona (AMWA)

  • American Red Cross 

  • American Service

  • Amnesty International USA

  • An Nisa Hope Center

  • Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region (ANCA-Western Region)

  • AsylumWorks

  • Bach Viet Association of Sacramento

  • Bethany Christian Services

  • Blue Star Families

  • Boat People SOS

  • Building Peaceful Bridges (BPB)

  • California Immigrants Resources Center

  • Catholic Charities Boston

  • Catholic Charities USA

  • Center for Empowering Refugees and Immigrants

  • Center for Migration Studies of New York

  • Chicago Refugee Coalition

  • Church World Service

  • Claremont Canopy

  • Combined Arms

  • Community Agenda for Regained Empowerment

  • Community Sponsorship Hub

  • Concordia

  • Connecticut for Ukraine Refugee Matching Program

  • Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)

  • Culture of Health-Advancing Together (CHAT)

  • Culturingua 

  • Della Lamb Community Services

  • Diocese of Olympia Refugee Resettlement Office

  • Dream.Org

  • Eagle Online Academy

  • ECHO Collective

  • Elena’s Light

  • Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC)

  • ETS

  • Evacuate Our Allies

  • Every Campus A Refuge (ECAR)

  • Exodus World Service


  • Five Together Foundation

  • Florida Immigrant Coalition, Inc. (FLIC)

  • Fresh Start Refugee Assistance Center

  • Friendly House, Inc.

  • Fugees Family

  • Give an Hour

  • Global Emergency Response and Assistance (GERA)

  • Globally

  • Glocally Connected — Human Migration Institute


  • Good360

  • Goodwill Industries International 

  • Guilford College

  • Haitian Bridge Alliance

  • Hanan Refugees Relief Group

  • Hazara American Association, Inc.

  • Heartfelt Tidbits

  • Hearts & Homes for Refugees

  • Hello Neighbor

  • HIAS

  • Home For Refugees USA

  • Homes Not Borders

  • Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative 

  • Human Rights First

  • ICNA Relief USA

  • Immigrant ARC

  • Immigrant & Refugee Outreach Center

  • Immigrant Welcome Center

  • Indy Reads

  • Institute of International Education (IIE)

  • International Catholic Migration Commission

  • International Neighbors

  • International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP)

  • International Rescue Committee (IRC)

  • Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) 

  • IRIS – Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services

  • Islamic Center of Boise

  • Islamic Relief USA

  • Jesuit Refugee Service/USA

  • Jewish Family Service of Metrowest

  • Jewish Federations of North America

  • JCRC of Greater Washington

  • Jubilee Campaign USA 

  • Keeping Our Promise Inc.

  • Kids in Need of Defense (KIND)

  • Kyiv-Mohyla Foundation of America

  • Lions International

  • Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska

  • Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service

  • Manor College

  • Mayors Migration Council

  • Migration and Refugee Services/USCCB

  • Miles4Migrants

  • Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition

  • MIRA: Middle Eastern Immigrant and Refugee Alliance

  • Muslim Family Services of Colorado

  • Muslim Youth for Positive Impact 

  • MY Project USA

  • National Association of System Heads (NASH)

  • National Coalition Supporting Eurasian Jewry (NCSEJ)

  • National Immigration Forum

  • National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA)

  • National Restaurant Association

  • Neighbors For Refugees

  • New American Association of Massachusetts

  • New American Leaders

  • New England Arab American Organization

  • Niskanen Center

  • No One Left Behind

  • Noor Islamic and Cultural Community Center

  • North Carolina African Services Coalition (NCASC)

  • NOVA Friends of Refugees

  • Nova Ukraine

  • Olive Branch Muslim Family Services

  • One Journey

  • ORAM – Organization for Refuge, Asylum and Migration

  • Orange County Jewish Coalition for Refugees

  • Oxfam America

  • Pairity

  • Pars Equality Center

  • Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans (PANA)

  • Peace Corps Community for Refugees

  • Pernet Family Health Service

  • Pima Community College

  • Plast, Ukrainian Scouting Organization – USA

  • Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration

  • Project Worthmore

  • Rainbow Railroad

  • Razom for Ukraine


  • Refugee Advocacy Lab

  • Refugee Assistance Alliance

  • Refugee Assistance Partners NJ

  • Refugee Congress

  • Refugee Council USA (RCUSA)

  • Refugee Education & Adventure CHallenge (REACH)

  • Refugee Welcome Collective

  • Refugee Women Rising

  • RefugePoint

  • Refugees International

  • Restore Her Voice

  • Returned Peace Corps Volunteers Alliance for Ukraine

  • Riverview International Center

  • Rocky Mountain Welcome Center

  • Rotary International

  • Ruth's Refuge

  • Sanctuary Kitchen by CitySeed

  • Save Our Allies

  • Seven Hills Foundation

  • Slavic Refugee and Immigrant Service Organisation

  • Soft Landing Missoula

  • Soldiers’ Angels

  • Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC)

  • Special Olympics

  • Spring Institute for Intercultural Learning

  • Starting Point for Refugee Children

  • Syrian Community Network (SCN)

  • Tahirih

  • Talent Beyond Boundaries

  • Tapestry Farms

  • Tarjimly

  • Tennessee Resettlement Aid

  • Texas International Education Consortium

  • The Independence Fund

  • The Islamic Association of Raleigh

  • The Refugee Response

  • The Selfreliance Association

  • The Shapiro Foundation

  • The University of Tulsa

  • Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS)

  • Treetops Collective

  • Tulsa Metropolitan Ministry

  • Ukraine Immigration Task Force

  • Ukrainian American Bar Association

  • Ukrainian American Cultural Center of NJ

  • Ukrainian American House

  • Ukrainian American Youth Association

  • Ukrainian Community Center of Washington

  • Ukrainian Educational and Cultural Center (UECC)

  • Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA

  • Union for Reform Judaism

  • United Afghan Association

  • United Ukrainian American Relief Committee

  • United Way of Central Massachusetts

  • United Stateless 

  • University of Maryland, College Park

  • Upwardly Global

  • USAHello

  • Utah Muslim Civic League

  • U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants

  • Valley Neighbors of the Flathead

  • Vecina

  • Veterans for American Ideals (VFAI)

  • Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW)

  • Vietnamese American NonGovernmental Organization (VANGO) Network

  • Viets for Afghans

  • VOICE (Vietnamese Overseas Initiative for Conscience Empowerment) 

  • Water for Ishmael

  • We Are All America

  • Welcome Neighbor STL

  • WelcomeNST

  • Welcome.US

  • Welcoming America

  • We Welcome

  • With Honor Action

  • Women for Afghan Women (WAW)

  • World Education Services

  • World Learning

  • World Relief

  • World University Service of Canada (WUSC)

  • YMCA of the USA

About Welcome.US
At Welcome.US, our mission is to unleash the desire and capacity of Americans to welcome newcomers and help them thrive. We operate on the evidence that direct participation with newcomers transforms both the welcomer and those being welcomed. By making it easier for Americans from all walks of life to participate in the work of welcoming—and telling their stories—we are building a movement that celebrates America’s welcoming spirit by providing an opportunity to serve for all who seek to welcome. Our diverse community of Welcomers reaches across real and perceived divides to meet the needs of newcomers more effectively. In partnership with local and national resettlement agencies, diaspora organizations and leaders, refugees, community sponsorship groups, nonprofits, businesses, faith-based institutions, veterans, universities, four former Presidents and four former First Ladies, Welcome.US is a single point of entry for Americans who want to get involved and support those who are starting new lives in the United States. To learn more about Welcome.US, please visit