PORTLAND — Carloads and carloads of outerwear, boots, car seats, toys, and more will be joyfully delivered to Project Outreach in South Portland tomorrow to help spread cheer to asylum seekers, refugees, and area homeless.
St. Brigid students will bring the massive collection of items generated from a month-long donation drive to the Quality Inn & Suites on 738 Main Street in South Portland on Giving Tuesday, Nov. 30, at 10 a.m.
“Well over 100 jackets, boxes and boxes of supplies, dolls, countless toys, and much more,” said Ellen Couture, director of admissions and marketing at St. Brigid. “Most of the items are brand new!”
Project Outreach is a program of the South Portland Fire Department with an initial mission of coordinating outreach teams and supplies to connect vulnerable and homeless populations to resources during the pandemic. It has now grown into a program that involves a number of agencies that ensure clients’ needs are being met in their environments and through using their own languages, primarily at motels and hotels in the South Portland that house homeless, refugee, and asylum-seeking populations.
“Asylum seekers legally enter our great country, fleeing the horrors of their battered, conflict, and war-torn countries. These new residents are then sent off to various areas for housing. Here in South Portland, hotels left vacant from COVID happen to make the perfect place,” said Josh Probrislo, a South Portland firefighter who oversees the program. “They arrive with nothing more than the clothes on their back, they’re handed instructions mostly written in English, and nothing else.”
Project Outreach helps the individuals get enrolled in healthcare, obtain vaccines, and offers rides to appointments and interviews.
“We couldn’t help without help,” said Probrislo. “We are so grateful.”
“It has been a very generous month, and everyone seems to have joined the bandwagon,” said Couture. “It feels good to do ‘good’ and the impact of even the smallest gesture of kindness is so huge.”
Those who are interested in supporting St. Brigid School and its benevolent initiatives can visit the school’s website (www.sbrigids.com) on Giving Tuesday to donate. The link to give will go live on the website on Nov. 30. For more information, contact Ellen Couture or Courtney Morgan at 207-797-7073 or email@example.com.