Beneficiary Organizations

The Organizations Making an Impact in the World

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Community Family Life Services

Since 1969, Community Family Life Services has provided children, families, and adults with the tools and resources needed to move beyond poverty and homelessness. CFLS specializes in reentry support for women who are returning home following a period of incarceration by assisting them as they move into permanent self-sufficiency and stability. Our clients are seeking healing and redemption and a second chance at life.

The women’s reentry program provides wraparound support for women before, during and after incarceration, many of whom are single mothers facing homelessness. Reentry clients receive intensive case management which includes release planning, a Starter Kit with essentials and a laptop for virtual access to holistic programming that continues as they transition to housing, work to reunify their families, and seek employment.

In response to the pandemic, CFLS launched a new Virtual Services Department to provide virtual access to our drop-in center for emergency needs; transitional housing; medical case management; substance abuse counseling; employment training; and parenting classes. In addition, the CFLS Speakers Bureau moved public speaking training and presentations to a virtual format. Participants, who have experienced domestic violence, incarceration, human trafficking and other trauma share their stories to elevate their communities and advocate for causes that are important to them. Visit website.

Gifts of the following amounts help provide comprehensive support to
D.C.’s justice-involved women and other vulnerable populations:

  • $500 provides individual customized supports for things like rental assistance, work equipment, medical needs or childcare.
  • $350 provides a laptop, tablet, or Kindle for access to comprehensive virtual programming.
  • $200 ensures professional coaching, mentorship, or therapy designed to further support healing for a member of CFLS’s Speakers Bureau.
  • $100 provides a prepaid mobile phone or hotspot to connect with case managers and family.
  • $50 provides a transportation stipend to move beyond walkable distances for interviews, meetings, appointments and more.
  • $30 provides essential hygiene items for daily needs.
  • Your gift of any amount will help CFLS provide reentering women with essential tools for success through access to all of our services including employment, parenting, mental and physical health, HIV prevention, domestic violence awareness, financial literacy, legal advice and more. Thank you for your generosity and compassion.
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The Community of St. Dysmas

The Community of St. Dysmas (CSD) is a congregation within the walls of the Maryland State prison system. Staff and volunteers provide worship, Bible study, and Christian support to the inmates at four facilities, as well as support to those who have been transferred to a facility that doesn’t have a formal congregation.

These lively, faith-filled congregations are where God is changing lives through the good news of grace, forgiveness, and new life. CSD partners with aftercare programs to provide support for members after their release to find housing, employment and basic needs.

Your gifts will enable CSD to continue to bring the Gospel into the prisons and support people as they transition back to the community.

Fellowship Square

Founded in 1960, Fellowship Square advocates for and provides affordable housing and supportive services to older adults with very limited income.

Fellowship Square offers safe living environments that enhance independence, self-confidence, and the well-being of its diverse residents. The chaplaincy program provides pastoral care and counseling to residents.

Your gifts will support emergency food supplies, some medical/dental expenses, transportation assistance and other healthy living services and activities.

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Good Shepherd Housing Foundation

Good Shepherd provides housing for vulnerable individuals and families with low income, particularly those struggling with mental illness. Rent does not exceed 30% of income and case management support is available in some of the homes.

Your gift allows Good Shepherd to give each family in their housing program a $250 monthly housing utility allowance plus affordable rent. Without this support, many children would not have a permanent home to return to after school.

Gracing Spaces

Gracing Spaces is an all-volunteer non-profit organization that furnishes homes to help neighbors transition from homelessness. Gracing Spaces began 20 years ago, collecting furniture, household items, children’s clothing and toys, and preparing them for distribution to the clients of more than 20 other non-profits and Fairfax County agencies. We were able to assist more than 1000 people in 2023, distributing more than 6200 items.

One of the social workers we partner with said, “As a school social worker, managing many needs, your program’s efficiency in assisting families quickly and the kindness and warmth displayed by volunteers is commendable.” A non-profit organization outreach case manager said, “We social workers help clients get into places, but Gracing Spaces makes it a home!”

Your gift will help us to continue this vital ministry of serving our neighbors.

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Housing Up

Founded in 1990 by volunteers in faith-based communities, Housing Up builds thriving communities in Washington, DC by developing affordable housing and providing comprehensive support services to homeless and low-income families, empowering them to gain long-term independence.

Housing Up serves more than 900 families throughout the District and offers a broad range of services, including enrichment programming for youth and young adults. To thrive in the District, families not only have to maintain their housing but also have to pay for items many of us take for granted like transportation, childcare, food & household essentials and healthcare. With homelessness rising 12% in DC in the past year, we need your help to ensure families stay stably housed.

La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia is an outreach of service and learning and outreach ministries with the Latinx immigrant community around Langley Park in Maryland. La Sagrada is sponsored by a network that includes the Metro D.C. Synod, St. Luke Lutheran Church in Silver Spring, and Lutheran Campus Ministry at the University of Maryland. Congregations of the Maryland Conference also support La Sagrada Familia’s work, as do individuals from all over the area.

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Lutheran Campus Ministry

Lutheran Campus Ministry supports young adults as they navigate one of the most important times of their lives. Throughout the Synod, our campus ministries provide opportunities for students to worship, grow in their faith and connect with inter-faith learning opportunities, as well as develop leadership skills, participate in meaningful service opportunities, have time and space for retreats, and much more.

Your gifts support and raise up young adult leaders who are the present (and future!) of the church and the world.

Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area

Since 1917, Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area (LSSNCA) has served boldly in the Washington Metropolitan Area. Today, LSSNCA provides services that foster healthy and self-sufficient livelihoods including:

  •  refugee and immigrant resettlement,
  • workforce development, and interpretation,
  • family and children services — foster care for unaccompanied refugee minors and adoption services;
  • health and wellness services — CARE for Newcomers, healthy relationships education and Youth Haven.

Together and with the help of partners and volunteers, we work to promote welcoming and compassionate communities.

Gifts will transform the lives of others.

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Lutheran Volunteer Corps

Since 1979, more than 2,700 fellows have worked towards social justice in Lutheran Volunteer Corps fellowships. Fellows spend a year or a semester serving at social justice partner organizations and learning about the root causes of poverty and oppression. LVCers continue the core values tradition of living together in community, simply and sustainably; while serving 40 hours each week at placement organizations with missions including immigration, legal justice, housing, education, health, and other areas. Fellows from all cities join together monthly for a learning series introducing a variety of civic areas and their intersection with social justice using a liberation lens.

LVC welcomes fellows at all stages of life including retired, on sabbatical, in-between or changing jobs, gap year, and more. Participation is at no cost to the volunteer.

Your gift helps fund the fellowship program for diverse emerging leaders, covering costs of housing, utilities, Internet, health insurance, transportation, and programming. LVCers often transition to fields related to their fellowship, growing the social justice and equity movement. 

N Street Village

Founded in 1973, N Street Village supports homeless and low-income women in Washington D.C. to claim their highest quality of life by offering a broad spectrum of services, including housing, and advocacy in an atmosphere of dignity and respect. The Village provides the tools for women to make real, lasting change in their lives.

Your gift of:

  • $29 can provide a Household Essentials Kit with cleaning supplies, toiletries, and more
  • $37 can provide 30 nutritious meals
  • $72 can provide three welcome kits with essentials like socks, travel-sized toiletries, and more
  • $200 can provide housing and services for one week for two women living in permanent supportive housing
  • $500 can provide housing and supportive services for two weeks for one woman living with HIV at Miriam’s House
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Outdoor Ministries:
Caroline Furnace & Mar-Lu-Ridge

Outdoor ministries serve youth and families, provide space for respite and learning in beautiful settings, and help others grow in faith. Located in Fort Valley, Virginia, Caroline Furnace's mission is to provide unforgettable faith, education, and renewal experiences in God's creation for all God's people. Located in the beautiful Catoctin Mountains of Maryland, Mar-Lu-Ridge is a place of community, service, and sanctuary. Both outdoor ministries offer year-round retreat hospitality and summer camp programming.

Your gift will be split evenly between Caroline Furnace and Mar-Lu-Ridge. Funds will be used to support scholarships, programming, and equipment.

Roanoke College

Roanoke College is a four-year, liberal arts college located in Salem, Virginia. Founded in 1842, Roanoke is the second-oldest Lutheran related college in America and lives at the intersection of faith and reason. Reason calls us to be honest. Faith calls us to be authentic.

Your gift supporting Roanoke College will be directed to the scholarship program for students pursuing a church vocation who are from the Washington D.C. area or the three international companion synods. Gifts of Hope helps students with tuition assistance or help with other college expenses.

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Samaritan Ministry

Samaritan Ministry of Greater Washington

Samaritan Ministry’s Next Step program is a critical lifeline for DMV adults whose lives have been stymied by poverty, ill health, racism, limited access to opportunities, and hopelessness. We empower returning citizens and others experiencing homelessness, unemployment and other critical challenges to set and achieve personalized goals for self-sustaining and purposeful lives, one step at a time. Intensive personal counseling, GED prep, job-readiness instruction, vocational training, and career coaching offered through a team of caseworkers in four home-like offices across the region are all included in our lifelong, wrap-around services. Additionally, we support enrolled Samaritan participants with interview attire, pantry food, personal hygiene products, and other emergency assistance. And for Samaritan volunteers, we offer substantial opportunities to assist participants on their journeys, providing a chance for mutual transformation and growth.

Your gift will provide a participant with hope, guidance, and material support in getting their own life on track.

  • $100 could provide an Internet hotspot.
  • $500 would supply a loan-to-own laptop.
  • $1000 could help secure an apartment lease or go towards the purchase or repair of a car required for employment.

Any amount will assist us in providing skilled and dedicated caseworkers.

Shelter House

was founded in 1981 to address the homelessness crisis in Fairfax County. Over the past 40 years the agency has blossomed to provide a variety of housing solutions and critical support to persons experiencing or at risk of homelessness and victims of domestic violence.

Currently, Shelter House provides homelessness prevention services, emergency shelter, drop-in day services, rapid re-housing, permanent supportive housing, and affordable housing to support low-income households in the Northern Virginia area to obtain and maintain safe, permanent housing. Your gift to Shelter House is more important than ever as many low-income households struggle to navigate the long-lasting economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

By choosing to give to Shelter House, your gift of rent or utility assistance will help to ensure that families are able to stay in housing during this difficult time.

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United Lutheran Seminary

United Lutheran Seminary (ULS) is one of seven seminaries of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). ULS is comprised of two physical campuses, Philadelphia and Gettysburg, and a distributed online learning campus. ULS is a Reconciling in Christ seminary.

The ULS Community is a welcoming and diverse learning community equipping people to proclaim the living Gospel for a changing church and world. The seminary offers six graduate degree tracks and lifelong learning programs that equip rostered and lay leaders to serve with deep faith and excellence—in congregations, social ministry agencies, campus ministries, military settings, and global missions.

Your gift to ULS will help seminarians meet basic needs and help underwrite expenses while they are being formed as faithful servant leaders and develop skills that are Lutheran in focus, ecumenical in practice, and led by grace.

The Village at Rockville
A National Lutheran Community

Founded in 1890, The Village at Rockville—A National Lutheran Community—is a Life Plan Community, offering independent living, assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing care to older adults in Montgomery County and the surrounding areas. Inspired by Matthew 25:40, The Village at Rockville is committed to our mission to honor, inspire and support choice and opportunity in service to older adults, including residents experiencing financial difficulty. Our benevolent care program provides financial assistance to residents who outlive their financial resources, through no fault of their own, so that they can remain at The Village at Rockville.

Your gift is priceless to residents in need because it offers them peace of mind, security, and dignity. We invite you to support our mission and benevolent care as we faithfully serve older adults.

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Companion Synod:
Lutheran Churches in Namibia

Our Synod has Companion Synod relationships with three entities in Namibia—The Paulinum Seminary, ELCIN, and ELCRN.

Gifts of Hope help the various Lutheran entities in Namibia, who can choose which project they like (whether it be books for the Seminary, hostel supplies for ELCRN, or monies for the retired pastors’ fund sponsored by ELCIN).

Your gift will improve livelihoods and meet the spiritual needs of the Namibian people.

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Companion Synod:
The Salvadoran Lutheran Church

The Salvadoran Lutheran Church is a new church: small in numbers, but with a powerful voice in a country where pain and hope are both easy to see. These Lutheran churches in El Salvador thrive among the least fortunate, in urban slums and small towns.

Your gift will help fund micro-business grants and other projects, and support salaries for pastors, almost all of whom have jobs outside the church, to pay their bills and support their congregations.

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Give a Gift Now

Operating since Advent 1992, Gifts of Hope has raised and disbursed almost $4 million to two church camps, four ministries, three international companion synods, and ten local social service agencies affiliated with the Synod. These funds have helped the homeless, the hungry, the young, the elderly, immigrants, refugees, jobseekers, seminary and college students, and those seeking to improve their lives.