Want to save a life from home?
Volunteer to become a remote interpreter!
The COVID-19 fight, like many others, can affect vulnerable immigrant communities the most. Even when immigrants make it to the hospital, many face language barriers that can be the difference between life or death -- especially since the virus prevents family members from accompanying patients to the ER and interpreting for them.
What we are seeing in NYC (and what is soon to happen everywhere else in the country) is that patients with limited English proficiency are being left without proper care. Free or low-income clinics that are volunteer-run might also not be able to afford professional medical interpreters even as more patients are coming in.
While we strongly encourage hospitals to reach out to professional medical interpreters (a legal right for ALL patients), we understand that this pandemic is unlike anything we have seen before. That's why Carolina J. Moreno -- a first-generation American and Colombian-born storyteller -- decided to create a national database of bilingual volunteers and volunteer interpreters as a temporary resource.
Currently, we have more than 2,000 remote volunteers across the country with various degrees of experience -- from informal interpreting for their families to certified medical interpreting. Our volunteers can interpret in over 40 languages, including some less common dialects. We also have over 30 local leads helping with outreach in their cities and/or states!
This is a grassroots effort of amazing people coming together to help patients with limited English proficiency receive the care they deserve. If you have the time and the skill, JOIN US!
How to Help
Let's make a difference during these unprecedented times!
Want to become a volunteer interpreter?
Please read the following:
1. Due to a high level of interest, I am asking that only people with medical or interpreting experience of some sort sign up from now on. (If you speak a dialect that is not often found, there is more leniency!)
2. For Spanish, please only apply if you are a certified interpreter or interpreter in training! We have many Spanish-speakers. Thanks!
3. Interpreting in medical situations can be very difficult mentally and emotionally, there is a lot of added pressure when someone is sick and in a hospital setting. While we appreciate you wanting to help, this is difficult work and it could have consequences on your mental health. Please consider if you are up for it!
4. You MUST be completely fluent (or very advanced) in both English and the language(s) you are signing up for.
5. All languages welcome. Contact information will only be shared with hopsitals/organizations/clinics who need it. You must be 18+. No minors, please.
6. This will be done remotely through Zoom/Skype/Facetime. No in-person interpreting.
7. This is volunteer-only. This is a grassroots initative and we cannot (unfortunately) pay you.
8. Please make sure to note any appropriate experience and certifications you might have in the form.
If you understand all of the above, please sign up here: https://forms.gle/xrD18zseDmz1mE6r8
Can't interpret? Volunteer to be a lead for your city/state!