Volunteer & Donate



If you wish donate, please mail your check made payable to “Iowa Justice For Our Neighbors” to:

PO Box 41006
Des Moines, IA 50311

Click here to make an on-line donation to JFON. Thank you for your support!


Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors—Justice for Our Neighbors Volunteers

Our volunteers with open minds and open hearts motivate the United Methodist Church to open doors to immigrants and refugees. 

Justice for Our Neighbors could not do its work without our dedicated volunteer coordinators of our legal clinics.   Many, many thanks!!

Rethink Church is a ministry of United Methodist Communications.  At their website we see this phrase: “Open Doors, Open Minds, Open Hearts.”  The volunteers of Justice for Our Neighbors here in Iowa have put legs on this motto for refugees and immigrants in our state on a regular basis.  Our immigration legal clinic coordinators are a very dedicated group with a welcoming attitude—open hearts and open minds—who are the door openers at six United Methodist Churches around the state.

Another high school teacher who became a community college teacher is Marilyn Fields of Storm Lake.  When JFON moved the legal clinic from Sioux City to Storm Lake, Marilyn took on the job with her late husband Lowell.  Now retired, she fills her time with three busy grandsons, but is a loyal coordinator of the legal clinic on Sunday afternoons.

Marilyn Fields of Storm Lake

Mary Ellen Barber hustles over from work to Grace UMC to coordinate the JFON legal clinic.  Since the start of JFON in Des Moines, Grace has been the site of the legal clinic and Mary Ellen took the reins from Doris Knight, who began the first JFON legal clinic in Des Moines.

At Columbus Junction Marsha Gerot coordinates the JFON legal clinic at the UMC.  It was started when Cathy and Ron Whitlatch served the church for General Board of Global Ministries.   Earlene Lekwa was the first coordinator and when she moved on, Marsha Gerot, an active United Methodist Woman, offered her help.  Now that she has retired from University of Iowa Hospitals, Marsha is a Certified Lay Minister serving at Letts UMC.

Ruth Palmer of Decorah
Kathi Mitchell of Decorah

The Cedar Rapids JFON legal clinic held at Lovely Lane UMC is being coordinated by Kay Graber, long time supporter of JFON.  Ms. Graber retired as Director of Community Relations and Public Information at Grant Wood AEA in Cedar Rapids and is eager to begin a new focus on service and advocacy for immigrants.

 She will be supported by Amy Guardado, who with her husband, is a former JFON client.  She is now a Family Services Coordinator for HACAP in Cedar Rapids with a wealth of knowledge about human services in that community.  States  Ms. Graber, “She will be invaluable as a JFON assistant coordinator.”

Kay and Amy are active members at the Mt. Vernon United Methodist Church."

Another team is Kathi Mitchell and Ruth Palmer who lead JFON activities at Decorah’s United Methodist Church.  The newest of our dedicated group of volunteers, they keep busy with many activities to help immigrants in NE Iowa.


Interested in Volunteering with Justice For Our Neighbors?  

Volunteers play a critical role at Iowa Justice For Our Neighbors (JFON). They serve as intake and hospitality workers, translators, case managers, fundraisers, volunteer attorneys, and advocates. Check out the following volunteer opportunities:

Gathering of JFON supporters, volunteers, and former clients at June 8 luncheon during Annual Conference.

Intake at a Monthly Clinic

This is a wonderful opportunity for individuals who love working with people and learning about different cultures. At the monthly clinic you will be paired with an immigrant client in need of legal services. You will help us obtain basic background information prior to the client’s consultation with the attorney.

Time Commitment: 2-3 hours a month

Location(s): Cedar Rapids, Columbus Junction, Decorah, Des Moines, Marshalltown, Ottumwa, and Storm Lake 

For more information about volunteering, call our office at 515.255.9809.

Childcare at a Monthly Clinic
This opportunity is a great one for creative, fun-loving individuals who love working with children. Many of our clients are unable to find childcare for their appointments and these great volunteers ensure that the parent can meet privately with the attorney while the child is safe and having fun!

Time Commitment: 2-3 hours a month

Location(s): Cedar Rapids, Columbus Junction, Decorah, Des Moines, Marshalltown, Ottumwa, and Storm Lake

For more information about volunteering, please call our office at 515.255.9809.

Oral Interpreting and Document Translation
Do you speak, write, or read a language other than English? Justice For Our Neighbors always needs interpreters to help during intakes, client consultations, and immigration interviews. We are also in need of volunteers who are willing to translate documents.

Time Commitment: depends on your availability

Location(s): At the clinic sites or the Des Moines office location. Location is flexible for written translations.

For more information about volunteering, call our office at 515.255.9809.

Law Student or Legal Assistant Internships
Justice For Our Neighbors is now taking applications from law student or paralegal/legal assistants. Legal interns work closely with the attorneys and help with preparing immigration forms, gathering documents, and legal research.

Time Commitment: depends on your availability and JFON needs

Location: Primarily the Des Moines office

For the Law Student/Legal Assistant Intern application please click here.

Think you may be able to help JFON with your special skills? Please feel free to contact our office at 515.255.9809 to discuss other volunteer opportunities!