Refugee/Immigrant Support


We are planning a circle of our church families in support of an immigrant family and also to assist others with learning English through Portland Adult Ed and Learning Works. Contact our coordinator with your ideas and interest.

Recently we had a worship service in which we heard Leonce Ntungwanayo (right) speak about his path from Burundi to Portland. One of our members, Therese, also from Burundi shared her own story through photos. Our concern for continued General Assistance support for amnesty seekers has taken some of our members to Augusta, the streets of Portland and Portland City Council.






We help new immigrants work toward citizenship.
Here is the family of one of the new citizens and their teachers as they await the induction ceremony.











Another Somali couple, who were taught by our members, celebrating at the induction ceremony.








We protest General Assistance cuts by the Governor for those who are seeking asylum and a new life in the U. S. free from torture and killings. A dozen members joined the Minister, who spoke about interpreting the lesson of the Good Samaritan into this current situation.




We look to support refugees and immigrants new to the Portland community as they seek to make this their home. Our support includes helping with needed adjustments to their new environment, obtaining goods, assisting with English and asylum needs, helping with learning for the citizenship test and working on related legislative issues.





WIN (welcoming immigrants network) meets every third Thursday at First Parish UU Church Portland to connect about common interests and needs. Early in its development Felix (from Rwanda) spoke at our church.




In earlier years we had potlucks with Iraqi and African refugees, whom we also helped with household goods, adapting to this country and speaking English.






 

 

 

 

Making Donations

Furniture, household goods, clothing

Do you have usable winter clothing that newcomer immigrants could use? Please bring them to Parkside Neighborhood Center, at the corner of Mellen and Grant Streets, Portland. They are open to receive clothing, bedding, and kitchen items five days a week: Mondays: 10 to 5, Tuesdays: 12 to 7, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays: 11 to 5.


Do you have furniture you would like to donate? Pick up can be arranged or maybe you can deliver it yourself. Check with the Furniture Friends Portland, email, or call 210-5797 or leave a message at 207-200-7796. And THANKS!

Muscles are needed to help collect the furniture and move it!


Tutoring/Mentoring Opportunities

Portland Adult Education has a great need for volunteer tutors to help students one hour per week in reading, writing, and conversation. Interested? contact, Moey Burchenal, at 874-8155 or email her. Further information about the Portland Adult Education program can be found here.


Catholic Charities welcomes immigrants to this country who are arriving through refugee camps. They also are looking for volunteers to help as mentors for young people, and also as members of a program for adult refugees called American Friends. The person to contact is Bethany Sack, Mentoring Project Coordinator with Americorps at Catholic Charities. Contact or call 493-8913.

Volunteer to help public school children while they are learning English. Go to this website for information.

Learning Works is another place where tutoring and connection takes place.

WIN -- Welcoming Immigrants Network meets third Thursday of the month from 5:30 - 7 at First Parish UU Church in Portland.