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Aug 14, 2017

Charity Partner Profile: No One Left Behind (NOLB)

123JUNK is proud to announce a new charitable partnership with No One Left Behind (NOLB). The mission of NOLB is to assist Afghan and Iraqi combat interpreters to obtain Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs), and help them resettle into the United States, get a green card and eventually become citizens.

The 301(c)(3) organization was founded by Matt Zeller who drew his inspiration from the interpreter directly responsible for saving his own life from two Taliban soldiers. Once the Taliban heard that this interpreter had helped Zeller, they began to assault him and his family with threats of terrible death. Zeller worked hard to bring this interpreter to the U.S. and help with resettlement in terms of finding a job, housing and cultural adaptation assistance.

“These combat interpreters put their lives, and those of their families, on the line every day to assist U.S. troops on the ground in Afghanistan and Iraq, sometimes for 10 or 12 years,” explained Keith Saddler, DC Chapter President and member of the NOLB Board of Directors.

NOLB’s mission is to support the interpreters, soldiers, cultural advisors and other allies of American troops who have been displaced from their homes due to their association and support to Americans to ensure that America treats its wartime allies as the heroes and veterans they are.

“As an organization, we’re trying to propose legislation to Congress to continue this SIV program that they are trying to cut back on,” Saddler said. “There are roughly 8,000 Afghan interpreters waiting to get out of the country, and our State Department is offering fewer and fewer visas each year.”

“We made a moral commitment to these interpreters when they signed up to do the job that they would be taken care of by the U.S. government if their safety was ever threatened by the Taliban or Isis.”

Working Together with 123JUNK

123JUNK reached out to NOLB to see how it could help and soon it was determined that the household furnishings picked up by 123JUNK on its rounds could be repurposed into new lives within the Afghan communities found locally, mainly in Alexandria, Woodbridge and Hyattsville.

“Every Saturday, we take a volunteer crew to the facilities where 123JUNK places their donated items, pick up what we think we can use, load the items into our rented truck, and drive them directly to these Afghan communities to help furnish the homes of our new arrivals,” Saddler said. “We do not sell the items, everything is purely donated.”

“I’ve never met an organization that puts their social conscience ahead of profit like 123JUNK,” Saddler explained. “They use their own manpower and time to segregate out the good items and make them available to us as part of their mission to give back to the community.”

How You Can Help NOLB

No One Left Behind can truly use monetary donations. “We need about $5 million to do this right for these people who put their lives and families at risk for our soldiers,” Saddler said. “And we take very, very little to run our volunteer-run organization. About 90 cents of every dollar goes directly to the people who need it.”

If you’d like to help, please contact NOLB online at www.nooneleft.org.

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