Looking to help asylum seekers

Thank you for your interest in helping our new neighbors. The City of Portland has asked for help in the following ways.


While we work to vet the more than 1,200 people who have registered to volunteer at the Expo, we are not accepting new registrations at this time. [Note: If you already signed up for a shift at the Expo, please report for that shift.] We are currently collecting names for when we need additional volunteers, but we won’t process anyone else for the coming few weeks. If we don’t need to activate more volunteers, we promise to get back to you by end of summer with a status update and ways to engage at that time. Sign up with our Volunteer Interest Form.

Immediate Volunteer Requests from our Community Partners

As needs can change quickly, we’re encouraging volunteers to make sure that they have had contact with an organization before showing up to a volunteer opportunity. 

Help with Food Pick-up and Delivery from Hannaford for Families at the Expo. – Wayside Food Programs

  • Saturday & Sunday mornings, starting this Saturday. The food will be ready any time after 7:30 AM. Volunteers will pick up food from 3 different Hannaford’s locations, Falmouth, Yarmouth, and Forest Ave locations.
  • Volunteers will go to each of the stores, driving Wayside’s box truck. They will be responsible for picking up bakery items, produce, and meats.

Volunteer need: The truck has capacity for 3 people, one driver and two passengers. They suggest a minimum of two people, and 3 would be even better.

Wayside will provide training and details about the pickups. Volunteers will need to have a clean driving record. Wayside will need to make a copy of the driver’s license for their insurance company. (Only for the person driving the truck). Interested volunteers should contact Don Morrison, Operations Manager, Wayside Food Programs, 207-712-4929 cell.

Donate Money

  • The City of Portland is accepting donations to help with the emergency costs of meeting asylum seekers’ basic needs. To support the City of Portland’s Community Support Fund: Text Expo to 91999 or go to
  • Asylum law is extremely complex. Most asylum seekers lose their cases if they don’t have expert immigration legal representation. ILAP, the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project, is Maine’s only nonprofit provider of free asylum legal representation, and over its 25-year history has won the cases of more than 95% of its asylum clients. ILAP is already gearing up for intakes and group asylum orientations through its staff and volunteer attorneys but doesn’t have the capacity to individually represent this many asylum seekers without adding staff. Help ILAP add capacity to represent asylum seekers by donating here.
  • Greater Portland Health is providing culturally competent primary health care to the asylum seekers and their children. You can designate your gift to Healthcare for Asylum Seekers, or support all of Greater Portland Health’s great work by donating here.
  • Preble Street is providing food to the asylum seekers being sheltered at the Expo. You can donate to Preble Street here and designate your gift to Feeding Asylum Seekers, or just make a general donation to support Preble Street’s great work.