St. James Students in Biddeford Hold Major Donation Drive for Local Asylum Seekers

BIDDEFORD---With the temperatures dropping, students at St. James School in Biddeford have helped raise the spirits of asylum seekers in Saco.

The students gathered hats, mittens, coats, snow pants, and other winter items for asylum seekers, including children and adults, who are staying at a Saco hotel property secured by the state.

“Deacon Frank Daggett reached out to me from Catholic Charities Maine’s Parish Social Ministry program,” said Nancy Naimey, principal at St. James. “Instead of our normal hats and mittens on the fence posts service project, this year we focused on these families who have no winter items. We also had about $200 in cash donations from school families. The collection of items kept growing and growing.”

“Before coming to Portland and then Saco, these families endured long and arduous journeys, first escaping conflict in their homelands, and many dangers along the way,” said Deacon Frank. “The cold Maine winter is the next hazard they’ll face, and it’s great that St. James School is helping especially with hats and gloves which are most in need.”

The next priority will be obtaining winter boots.

“Because they depend on public transportation, they need to do a lot of walking so proper sizes are important,” said Deacon Frank. “Right now, Parish Social Ministry is seeking partners to help us meet this need for preschoolers and parents, who have given up so much to ensure that their children have food, clothing, and a safe place to live.”

If you are able to assist these individuals and families in any way, please contact Deacon Frank at 207-560-7822 or [email protected].