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We will be closed Monday, May 27th for Memorial Day. We will re-open on Tuesday, May 28th.

Volunteer Spotlight

Mark & Sharon

Two

Citizenship Volunteers Value Being Welcomers

April 10, 2024 | We’re highlighting the impressive work of our volunteers all month long in honor of Global Volunteer Month and Volunteer Appreciation Week, April 21-27. Learn more in this question and answer series about what inspires and motivates Mark and Sharon, volunteers who help Institute clients apply for citizenship and who also offer their French language knowledge as interpreters. Mark answers our questions below.

A husband and wife smile outside

Mark and Sharon, Institute citizenship volunteers

1) Why do you choose to donate your time to the International Institute of Minnesota?

I’ve always been fascinated by languages and cultures, as well as helping immigrants and refugees.  The International Institute of Minnesota has a long history of welcoming and helping newcomers to the United States.

2) What kind of volunteering do you do with us?

We do citizenship processing and French/English interpreting.

3) Why is this work important to you?

The greatest rewards come when I am other-focused, and when I can do that in a personal way, one-on-one.

4) Can you share a memory of a volunteer moment that helped make this work rewarding for you?

My wife and I were once assigned citizenship processing with a young couple from Madagascar (pictured at the top of this page). One of their native languages was French. They were so relieved to discover two French speakers to help them with the process. We became friends and have gotten together several times since, and we attended their naturalization ceremony.

5) What kind of impact do you hope your volunteer work has?

I hope that the immigrants and refugees that I work with feel welcome and valued as human beings, and that know there’s at least one old bald geek in Minnesota who is really glad they are here. 😎

Thank you to Mark and Sharon for sharing their story and to all our volunteers for the work you do to help New Americans become self-sufficient and reach their dreams.

 

Read More Volunteer Stories

Become a Volunteer

From virtual to in-person opportunities, we have a variety of chances for individuals and groups to volunteer at IIMN. Your time and talents are an essential part of our success in welcoming New Americans to Minnesota.

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