Volunteer Opportunities

When you volunteer to help others, you really make a difference for our community!

The Emmaus Homeless Shelter is very grateful to the outreach of our local community for their dedicated efforts to offer a helping hand.  We are often told that many of the volunteers find that their own lives are enriched immeasurably by helping others.  The different volunteer opportunities are popular with local churches, businesses, corporations, and professional and civic groups.

Provide and Serve a Meal

The Maine Coast Memorial Hospital in Ellsworth has taken on the challenge of purchasing and preparing monthly meal.  Each department at the hospital take a month and call ahead to see how many children are in the shelter and surprise them with a treat

Our local churches often serve our evening meals. They prepare the food at home and often provide a helping hand and a smile.  The words often heard by the churches are: "Our experience serving lunch was amazing! We will definitely do it again."

The local churches include: Baptist Church of Blue Hill, 1st. Congregational Church of Ellsworth, Church of Our Father in Hulls Cove, St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church and the 1st. Congregational Church of South West Harbor.
A meals calendar is maintained and if you would like to bring a meal monthly, quarterly, or one-time please give us a call. 


Conduct a Drive

Drives are excellent to help us meet needs in easy and practical ways. Take a look at the lists below and think about how many of those items you or your family goes through in a month. Now imagine having to provide the basics for 30 people on a daily basis.  Each individual's item, when grouped with a team effort, can add up to a lot.

Food Drive - canned vegetables, canned fruit, canned soups, instant potatoes, boxed cereal, rice

Paper Product Drive
- paper towels, paper napkins, toilet paper

Toiletries Drive
toothbrush, toothpaste, disposable razors, shaving cream, stick deodorant

Warm Clothing Drive
in the winter- gloves, socks, coats, hats/beanies

Laundry Detergent Drive - any kind will do

School Supply Drive – in August

Donate Money from Recyclables

In Maine there is a "bottle law."  You can help by saving and donating the money received from the recyclable bottles and cans.  In the Ellsworth Recycling Center on Water St. in Ellsworth you will see a sign that states “donate your return to the Emmaus Homeless Shelter and they will hold the money for us.    


Donate Seasonal Clothing, Linens, Household Supplies and Furniture

It is best to call in advance to ask about the shelter's specific needs and special guidelines for donating.

Old Cell Phones
·  You collect cell phones and smartphones
·  Reach out to friends, family & associates for their used phones
·  Phones are shipped to Shelter Alliance.  Shelter Alliance pays for all freight costs for us
·  Your phones are recycled through a zero landfill recycling process


Creative Ways

Ellsworth High School conducts a “sleep out for the homeless” and collects sponsors

Children have had birthday parties and collected gifts for the shelter children

Percentage of proceeds from yard sales

Sharing donations from Anniversary celebrations

Proceeds gained from sale of Girl Scout Cookies

Thank you for your interest in finding ways to volunteer at the Emmaus Homeless Shelter! There are numerous ways and various times of the day that you may get involved at the shelter.
Volunteers must be adults (18 years old) in order to volunteer on site at the shelter. All new volunteers must complete an application and agree to a background check.

Words cannot adequately express our gratitude for our many volunteers. Without them the Emmaus Homeless Shelter could not provide the level of service that we do.

Their labors of love put smiles on the faces of both children and adults struggling through the trials of homelessness, and their generosity and commitment to excellence in all they do ensure additional smiles for future guests.