Non-Profit Video Feature: International Rescue Committee, San Diego

Welcome to GiveYourGap’s first feature on a nonprofit organization, the International Rescue Committee. As you may know, the IRC has branches all over the world, working for the IRC’s mission: to help lead refugees from harm to home. Through refugee resettlement prorams, career development, microenterprise and many other ways – IRC branches everywhere are making a daily impact in refugees’ lives.

GYG is here because the IRC has countless opportunities for young people to get involved.
IRC-San Diego has an innovative, sustainable approach to a common challenge for refugees: food security.Since this is branch of IRC-San Diego that is so special, our feature focuses on the ways IRC has helped refugees find security in what we so often take for granted: food.

Our feature here – the video we’ve created and the interviews we link you to – will never be able to give a complete picture of all the ways the International Rescue Committee and its volunteers make a lasting impact for refugees and community development. Our mission is to share some of these stories, learn about the amazing ways IRC and young volunteers give back, what they have learned about development, themselves, change and the nonprofit world. Get inspired and get involved.

Hear from IRC volunteers who can give you the real inside scoop on volunteer experiences at the IRC: Madison McLaughlin and Lara Hamburger.

A Bit Of the Background
The International Rescue Committee San Diego was our first choice for a first profile for a number of reasons.

(1) the GYG team consists of a bunch of UC San Diego grads, all familiar with the great work IRC-San Diego does in our community. San Diego has a huge refugee population, and the International Rescue Committee is dedicated to to restore safety, dignity and hope to millions who are uprooted and struggling to endure.

(2) the IRC is well-known for integrating youth into their projects and volunteer programs. Can you say, “perfect fit for GiveYourGap?”

(3) We had a lot of friends working for the IRC. That’s where it always starts!

In all seriousness, though, working with all the volunteers at the International Rescue Committee has been an amazing first experience. We can’t thank the IRC enough for their flexibility, willingness to be our first feature and in many ways a guinea pig.

Special thanks to IRC volunteers Jessica Baltmanas, Lara Hamburger, Madison Mclaughlin, staff Mallory Cochrane, and all the farmers at the New Roots Farm and coordinators of the Fresh Fund Program. Stay tuned for a special feature next week on the New Roots Farm!

Thank you IRC for all your help!

This video was produced by Courtney O’Connor.


Lara Hamburger: Americorps VISTA, International Rescue Committee

Lara Hamburger

Name Lara Hamburger, Americorps VISTA
University, Major: Indiana University, Geography
Region: North America
Length of stay: 1 year
Type of Work: Capacity Building, Environment/Conservation, Agriculture

We first met Lara at the IRC City Heights Farmers Market. We lucked out catching her on her way out. Lara is an Americorps VISTA with amazing insights on nonprofit organizations, structural problems and making a daily impact on the lives of refugees.



Meet Lara

How did Lara come to the IRC?

How is Lara financing her time?

What has Lara learned about the non-profit world through working at the IRC?

What’s next for Lara? Will she stay on at IRC?

What advice does Lara have for potential volunteers who are worrying about financing their service?