During COVID-19, NNIC is suspending monthly community member coffee hours and in-person volunteer trainings. Please contact Gladys Wilson for training opportunities at gwilson@nnic.org.

Monthly community coffee hours and volunteer training

NNIC hosts monthly community member coffee hours on the final Wednesday of every month at noon. 

NNIC also hosts a volunteer training on the final Wednesday of everything month at 5:00 p.m. in the NNIC offices. 

Donating items

Please contact Carina Black by email at cblack@unr.edu if you would like to provide items or have any questions.


  • Mattress - twin/double *Only married couples and small children of the same sex may be expected to share beds
  • Box spring
  • Bed frame
  • Set of drawers, shelves or other unit appropriate for storage of clothing (only if closet does not have shelves)
  • Kitchen table
  • Kitchen chair - one per person
  • Couch or equivalent seating  - in addition to kitchen chairs
  • Lamp - one per room unless installed lighting present

Kitchen items

  • One place setting of tableware per person - fork, knife, spoon
  • One place setting of dishes per person - plate, bowl, cup
  • Pots and pans - one sauce pan, frying pan, and baking dish
  • Mixing/serving bowls
  • One set of kitchen utensils such as spatula, wooden spoon, knife, serving utensils, etc. 
  • Can opener
  • Baby items as needed

Linens and other household items

  • One towel per person
  • One set of sheets and blankets for each bed
  • One pillowcase for each person

Mentorship opportunities

Mentor groups and volunteers play a vital role in serving newly arrived refugees by providing friendship, and general assistance. Mentor groups are typically 10-15 volunteers that support refugee families beyond the capacity of the NNIC. These groups work with the NNIC via a point person in the mentor group.

Some specific things they do include:

  • Welcomers (airport pickup): More than just transportation to their new home, a warm welcome at the airport is an invaluable gift to travel-worn refugees.
  • Roadrunners (drivers): Help refugees get to necessary caseworker and medical appointments during their first couple weeks in America.
  • Movers and apartment setup: Assist our staff in gathering donations, setting up housing, and purchasing groceries for new arrivals.
  • Community/cultural guides: Help orient refugees to their new community and the public resources available to them such as public transportation, shopping, banking, library services.
  • Teach a life-skills class: Budgeting, cooking, computer skills, home safety, etc.
  • Employment/health advocates: Prepare and connect refugees to job leads or assist them in navigating our U.S. health care system.
  • Bus buddies: Train refugees on using the bus system in Reno. Help them practice routes to work, the store and other frequent destinations.

We also have multiple volunteer projects for groups:

  • Provide a "Welcome Kit" for refugees (email us for a list of needed items)
  • Coordinate a Resource Drive
  • Have a family over for dinner
  • Develop a Good Neighbor Team

To apply to be a volunteer, email nnic@unr.edu.

If you have questions, please contact:

Carina Black
Executive Director
Northern Nevada International Center
(775) 784-7515 x 221