The Refugee and Immigrant Support and Empowerment (RISE) program aims to foster a sense of belonging among immigrant and refugee families by providing programming and resources that support their social, educational, and economic success so that they can thrive in Portage County. Refugee resettlement activities are increasing in Central Wisconsin and CAP is thrilled to be part of the effort to ensure that Portage County feels like home. RISE staff will recruit, screen, train and match volunteers with refugees to assist them with accessing community resources and establishing relationships. The RISE program is also engaged in a community-based research project in partnership with the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point to create a pathway for direct input from immigrants and refugees to identify issues and solutions.


Apply to be a RISE volunteer. Fill out this application. RISE Volunteer Application

RISE is currently recruiting the following volunteer roles:

  1. Donation Volunteers: Help with obtaining and organizing large donations (such as furniture and mattresses) in high need for new refugees. This may include organizing the storage area at CAP Services and/or moving big items to and from the donation site and/or family home. If you have a trailer that you can use, please let us know.
  1. Housing and Welcome Volunteers: Set up the house before new families arrive. This may include cleaning, stocking, and furniture moving.  Sometimes we receive very short notice, so these volunteers must activate quickly.
  1. Event and Outreach Volunteers: Help plan and set up community events that increase understanding and celebrate refugees. This may include tabling to recruit volunteers, community trainings on diversity and inclusion, or activities for volunteers and refugees such as sporting activities, picnics, or holiday celebrations.
  1. Healthcare Navigator Volunteers: Become “experts” on healthcare and help ECDC Team volunteers and families understand how to navigate the healthcare system. Volunteers must have knowledge or experience working with healthcare.
  1. Individual Mentor and Driver Volunteers: Work with refugees who arrive as individuals without other family members. These individuals do not have an assigned ECDC Team. This may include helping the individuals access community resources and driving them to appointments. Many appointments are during the day so the volunteer will need to be available during some daytime hours. Each refugee will be assigned at least two individual mentor and driver volunteers.


For additional information contact:

Kabangu Patrick Mukuna
Refugee Support Coordinator