Lifting Up Communities: Aid for Refugees

Community Forklift aims to turn the construction waste stream into a resource stream for communities in the DC region.  Throughout December, we are highlighting the work we do to support our neighbors and our staff.  If you like what you see and want to lend a hand, you can make a financial contribution on our website. Your support is crucial to our work.  Every gift, large or small, helps us lift up local communities through reuse.


Thanks to your support, in 2017 we donated over $63,000 in materials to neighbors in need and local nonprofits and community groups striving for change in the DC area. One such nonprofit is Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area (LSS/NCA). LSS/NCA “walks with those in need and mobilizes community partners to provide services that offer hope and rebuild lives.”

In partnership with faith communities, foundations, local, state and federal partners and hosts of volunteers, LSS/NCA is proud to welcome hundreds of refugees from around the world to the United States every year. From the moment a refugee arrives at the airport, their staff is at the gate to welcome, provide guidance, encouragement, and other support services. They support their clients during this important transition by mobilizing community partners and offering a comprehensive range of services to newcomers including refugee assistance, employment training, and immigration services throughout Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia.

One of their primary responsibilities is to secure and set up housing prior to the arrival of their clients. The furniture they receive from Community Forklift goes straight into the homes of arriving refugees. When they’re unable to get furniture donated, they have to buy furniture for clients using money that would otherwise go to them directly, so the grants allow families to receive more funds for rent and to help them get on their feet.

With 22.5 million refugees currently forced to flee their homes because of war, persecution, and civil unrest, LSS/NCA have been busy. In 2017 alone, they’ve helped approximately 25 households using our materials! November was especially busy, with two families of six and a family of seven arriving in the same week, so our help was greatly appreciated:

We had a family of seven, with twin boys, arrive from Afghanistan at the end of November. Their rent is about $1,500, which is quite high, so it was very helpful that we were able to get two dressers and a dining table with chairs using our [grant]. This means that more money will be able to go directly to the family to help with rent and they have a beautifully furnished apartment to call home.
-Mira Mendick, Community Resource Coordinator, Refugee & Immigrant Services, Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area 

Staff photo, courtesy of Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area


Please give us a lift by making a donation! Each financial gift, large or small, helps us fulfill our mission to lift up communities through reuse.

Community Forklift is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit corporation. Donations are tax-deductible to the maximum extent allowed by law.

If you are a Marylander considering a donation this season, remember that we are participating in the Maryland Community Investment Tax Credit Program; a program that rewards Maryland taxpayers who donate to nonprofits that serve local communities. If you make a donation to Community Forklift of $500 or more, you can earn a Maryland tax credit of 50% of the value of your donation.  This tax credit is in addition to Federal and State charitable tax deductions! You can reduce your tax liability while helping us lift up local communities!!

For more info on the tax credit,

please visit our website or

call our office at 301-985-6011.

Thank you!