Catholic Charities Home > Refugee Immigration Services > Support > Donate


There are many ways you can support our work with refugees:

Financial Contribution

  • Donate online (Please be sure to designate your donation to Refugee and Immigration Services)
  • Checks may be mailed to Catholic Charities Maine Central Office at PO Box 10660, Portland, ME 04104-6060, with Refugee and Immigration Services (RIS) noted in the Check’s memo line.

Gift Cards

New Mainers are delighted to receive gift cards so they can choose exactly what they need. Grocery stores, Walmart, Target, Reny's, Mardens, and Marshalls/TJMaxx carry much of what is needed.

In-Kind Donations

CCM RIS has served thousands of refugees from many cultures. Often, refugees leave their home countries with very little and may not be equipped for Maine weather. Your in-kind donations support families as they start their new lives in Maine. Our deepest gratitude to all our generous donors for thinking of New Mainers! We can only accept new & gently used items without stains, rips or broken zippers. We are unable to launder or repair items. Our needs change, so please check back often! Donations by appointment, please call or email Charles Mugabe at [email protected].
Donations are tax deductible and receipts are available.

How would you find an apartment & move in for only $1,075.00?

It’s not easy, but our resettlement team and refugees must do just that. We rely on the donated items listed below to stretch that limited budget.

Please Help Us Give Refugees…

A Peaceful Night’s Rest

Refugees are tired after the long journey to Maine. Flights and drives are long. Saying goodbye to one’s country of origin can be bittersweet and emotionally exhausting. We often hear refugees say, “I can finally sleep here.”

    • Twin sheet sets for adults & children
    • Queen sheet sets for couples
    • Standard pillows
    • Blanket/quilt/comforter
    • Consider: a hamper & clothes hangers

A Place to Freshen Up

Giving their children a bath or taking a hot shower can help refugee families relax and get back to predictable routines.

    • Towel sets
    • Shower curtain, plastic liner & curtain rings
    • Bath mat
    • Bar soap
    • Shampoo/Conditioner
    • Toothbrush/toothpaste
    • Consider: a first aid kit, digital thermometer, hot water bottle

A Taste of Home

What’s cooking? Cooking familiar foods can make a first apartment begin to feel & smell like home. Refugees are accustomed to whole foods and cooking meals at home.

    • Pots & pans (sauce pan, large pot, frying pan)
    • Can opener
    • Kitchen utensils (wooden spoons, spatula, tongs)
    • Knife set & cutting board
    • Baking dish
    • Consider: pot holders, dish towel, drying mat/rack

A Place to Share a Meal

Breaking bead together as a family helps families heal together. Breaking bread with new friends helps families adjust to their new community.

    • Flatware set (knife, fork, spoon)
    • Dinnerware set (plate, bowl, mug)
    • Glassware
    • Mixing bowls
    • Consider: a tea kettle, place mat, napkins, food storage containers

A Clean Start

Households are maintained differently around the world. For refugees, American lease agreements and housing rules are complex and difficult to understand especially when they’re not in your native language. It takes some time to learn how to maintain a home in the US. Help refugees keep their apartment safe and clean.

    • Mop & bucket
    • Mild floor cleaner
    • Broom & dustpan
    • Bathroom/kitchen cleaner
    • Dishwashing detergent & sponges
    • Laundry detergent & laundry basket
    • Garbage bags
    • Lightbulbs
    • Toilet paper
    • Consider: putting it all in a couple of solid waste baskets (kitchen & bathroom)
    • Consider: a flashlight & batteries, a simple toolkit, scissors

A Chance to Choose for Themselves

Refugees did not choose to leave their countries of origin. They were forced to flee. Providing opportunities for individuals and families to choose items for themselves helps them regain a sense of control over their lives. Consider gift cards to stores like these:

    • Market Basket/Shaws/Hannaford for fresh, whole foods.
    • Foodie Friends/Sindibad Market for culturally appropriate foods and familiar items.
    • Marden’s/Reny’s
    • Target/Walmart
    • Habitat for Humanity ReStore/Goodwill for gently used affordable furnishings & household items.

Freedom of Movement

Refugees often must walk or rely on others to get around their new community. It takes a while to save enough money to purchase their first vehicle in the US. Help refugees find jobs, get to work, shop locally and become self-sufficient.

    • Monthly bus pass
    • A cell phone and data plan card
    • adult bicycle
    • volunteering to drive
    • donate a vehicle

A Safe Place to Call Home

Refugees don’t have a credit history or any history to speak of in the US when they arrive. They are some of the most vetted people in the US, having passed multiple security checks by the US government before being allowed to come. Despite that, many landlords and property managers require credit histories, background checks and application fees as a matter of policy. These barriers prevent refugees from being considered for many apartments.

If you or someone you know would like to rent to a refugee, we will help make it work! We’ll help families understand their lease and what you expect of them. We’ll help you communicate and get to know each other. We’re always looking to expand our network of immigrant-friendly landlords & housing partners. We need creative and affordable temporary & permanent housing solutions for refugees. Please help us provide their first home in the US.

Heartfelt Thanks to all Our Generous Donors

Your ongoing support helps make our mission possible!

Our Community Partners: We work with great community partners to help meet other needs.