ICDI Essentials

Sharing essential goods with new arrivals and providing for their needs

Give To Our Wishlist

An up-to-date list of the supplies we need most can be found on our Amazon Wishlist (see below). The supplies are safely delivered directly to our storage unit automatically – the shipping address is already entered.

Donate items on our Wishlist

All donations can only be shipped via Amazon. We do not accept drop-off donations at our office.

To inquire about additional in-kind donations, please contact the program director, Sarah Ankunda sankunda@icdichicago.org.

History & Background

The Chicago Immigrant Transit Assistance (CITA) program was the original program and continues as the ICDI Welcome Team, which accompanies recently-arrived asylum seekers in the Chicago Greyhound bus station who have a bus layover or are arriving at their final destination in Chicago. Similarly, the ICDI Essentials and Case Management programs assist post-transit immigrants with settling in by providing essential items and services. 
ICDI Welcome Team volunteers greet individuals and families being released from immigration detention across the U.S. However, most of the asylum seekers we serve are processed and released from detention facilities at the U.S./Mexico border. By the time asylum seekers arrive at the Chicago Greyhound station, they often have spent at least two days on the bus and likely have not had a proper meal until met by ICDI volunteers.  

ICDI Welcome

 Dedicated volunteers center the well-being of asylum seekers through accompaniment and provision of essential items and services such as warm meals, weather-appropriate clothing, interpretation services, transportation assistance, and referrals to local organizations in final destinations.


Equips post-transit immigrants that are settling into the Chicago land area with essential items and services such as clothing, mattresses, bedding, furniture, and appliances.

Despite being in the custody of the U.S. government and detained by ICE, asylum seekers are released with inappropriate clothing. For example, individuals have been released with the same clothes they wore during their migration journey. Even if someone was detained in the heat of the summer, they are likely released in significantly colder weather with limited-to-no warm clothing. We witness that asylum seekers are dehumanized by being forced to wear a combination of torn clothing tattered by migration and often misfitting, jail-issued. We aim to dignify asylum seekers’ migration journey by providing a fresh change of clothes.

"ICDI Welcome Team Volunteers Live The Future We Wish To See: Celebrating And Welcoming Asylum Seekers With Humanity And Support."

How to Support the ICDI Welcome Team:


Would you like to join ICDI in the mission of serving displaced people arriving and settling in Chicago? Consider joining our diverse group of volunteers!

ICDI volunteers provide direct service to asylum seekers coming through the bus station in downtown Chicago and organizing sessions at our Essentials storage warehouses downtown and in Elmhurst. 


Our Welcoming Team schedule is

Monday - Sunday:

5:45am - 7:45am


Flexible, two hour shifts between

Monday - Sunday:

10:00am - 5:00pm

If you are interested in volunteering, please fill out a volunteer form (see below) AND email Sarah Ankunda, sankunda@icdichicago.org


Skip to content