Thank you for supporting Welcoming the Stranger!

Your support goes directly to the Critical Needs Fund. Mentors apply to use the funds for needs that arise throughout the year that are critical to a successful life in Maine but are not available without your help. You can see an overview of the Critical Needs Fund and process here. While WTS volunteers are there to serve as friendship and acclimation support to individuals or families, there are often financial needs that arise that cannot be met without the help of the Critical Needs Fund.

What your donation supports:

  • $15 Winter Hat and Mittens for a child
  • $25 School supplies for a full year
  • $45 Monthly bus pass to get to and from work
  • $80 Electric bill payment
  • $100 Emergency dental work
  • $140 Life-saving prescription medication not covered by insurance
  • $250 Driver’s education course for more mobility and independence

Individuals and families seeking asylum are one of the neediest populations that are also the least supported by government and social services. While this is a main reason why WTS chose to work exclusively with individuals and families seeking asylum, it also poses a monumental financial challenge for many as they seek to build their lives anew in Maine.

Many individuals seeking asylum work low wage jobs that barely cover high rent costs and have little money for other expenses throughout the month and year. While, WTS strives to use all resources available such as food and diaper pantries, local networks, and available aid, there are many needs that are not covered. WTS created the Critical Needs Fund to address ongoing needs and gaps in funding.

Your donation supports the Critical Needs Fund, however if you or someone you know would be interested in a larger funding initiative for WTS, please email to express interest in corporate, foundation, or major gift support.

Donation FAQs

Is my gift tax-deductible?

Yes, Welcoming the Stranger is sponsored by Temple Beth El, a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity. Your gift to WTS is tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law.

What does my gift support?

Your gift supports the WTS Critical Needs Fund, which is used to support financial needs that arise with no other means of the expense being met. If you are interested in supporting a larger initiative, please email

How can I make a gift?

You can make a gift online or mail a check made out to Temple Beth El with the memo stating Welcoming the Stranger Fund to:

Ms. Sherri Quint
Temple Beth El
400 Deering Avenue
Portland, ME 04103

Please include a note indicating the donation is for Welcoming the Stranger.

How else can I support WTS?

WTS is always looking for mentors. For more information on becoming a mentor, please click here.

WTS also needs volunteers that would be willing to work “behind the scenes” on various tasks such as administrative and planning work, mentor and mentee support, or any other area of interest that may be helpful. If you are interested in volunteering with WTS outside of mentoring, please email with your skills and strengths that you think would be useful. Everyone is welcome!

Do I have to be part of the Jewish community to participate?

No, while WTS began within the Jewish community, it has quickly grown to encompass those passionate about volunteer work and grassroots activism from all faiths and belief systems. If you think your neighborhood, school, friend group, or religious group, would be invested in becoming a part of WTS volunteering, please reach out.

Will you share or sell my information?

No, our donor privacy policy is as follows:

Welcoming the Stranger, WTS, will not under any circumstances share, sell, or distribute donor information including mailing or email addresses to any other organizations or third parties. You may also request to remain anonymous in any annual reports or donor recognition lists created by WTS or Temple Beth El. WTS is committed to the highest standard of donor information integrity to ensure privacy.

Any donor or individual wishing to opt out of mailings, emails, or other contact, may contact WTS to make preferences known. These preferences will be noted on an individual basis and honored unless otherwise directed by the individual.

Is my online gift secure?

Yes, we use a top-rated credit card processor and your credit card information is not stored with WTS.

Can I match my gift through my employer?

Yes, with the gift receipt from your WTS donation, please check with your company’s HR department for the proper matching gift forms to double or triple the impact of your gift. Once all the paperwork is submitted with your company, WTS will verify the donation and your company will send the match. If you’re unsure if your company matches charitable contributions, check with your HR department.