During Europe’s refugee so-called crisis, a volunteering phenomenon emerged. These volunteers mobilized around sites such as refugee camps, transit stations, border crossings to provide humanitarian aid to refugees on the move along the Balkan route. This paper uses semi-structured interviews to examine these volunteers’ work and motivations by situating them in the nexus of humanitarianism and state securitization. First, I draw from William Walters’ “humanitarian border” theoretical notions to demonstrate how new humanitarian borders have emerged within
Europe. Then I demonstrate how independent or “grassroots” volunteers are challenging but also becoming implicit in the reinforcement of these humanitarian borders.