Our Programs

As part of our mission to lift up communities, Community Forklift partners with hundreds of nonprofits, community groups, schools, and social service agencies to offer public education, outreach activities, and community giving programs to area residents. Here are just a few of the ways we “lift up our community”:


Home Essentials Program

Community Forklift works with individuals and families in need, providing home repair supplies, appliances, and other essentials to those who qualify for low-income or other need-based assistance.  Since 2012, Community Forklift has provided $51,364 of materials to 1,523 people in 474 households.

Please note:  there is often a long wait list for appliances like stoves, fridges, wash machines, and window A/C units, so we are always searching for more – please visit our donations page if you have appliances in good working order to contribute!

If you or someone you know needs home repair supplies, bathroom fixture, or appliances that will provide a safer & better living environment, please fill out our application by clicking the link below, or give us a call at (301) 832-0515.


Home Essentials Program Application

Welch Donation 088


Community Building Blocks Program

Community Forklift provides mini-grants to nonprofits, schools, and volunteer groups who need building materials for projects that serve the greater community.  Since 2012, Community Forklift has worked with more than 189 organizations and has provided more than $55,000 in free materials.

We are generally able to provide at least $25 – $100 in building materials to each group that applies, depending on the type of items requested.  In some circumstances, we can also loan materials for a theater production or community event.

If you are interested in applying for a mini-grant for your own community project,  fill out our application by clicking the link below.

Community Building Blocks Application

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Educational Tours and Programming

Community Forklift is an internationally-known reuse center that offers a green business model promoting sustainable development. We were voted City Paper’s “Best Green Business in 2014” for the DC region, and have hosted groups of all ages, from preschoolers and scout groups to grad students and Fulbright scholars.  Students learn about topics such as social entrepreneurship, waste reduction, and the reuse movement.

If you would like to schedule your own tour or would like for us to visit your school or organization, please email Outreach(at)CommunityForklift(dot)org.

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Special Events

Community Forklift hosts family-friendly parties throughout the year. These all-day events include hands-on activities, workshops, raffles, and food.

Upcoming 2016 events:

  • Late winter/early spring:  Garden Tool Collections at local nurseries
  • Spring:  7th Annual Garden Party & Sale (one of the biggest events of the year!  We’ll have gardening advice, free workshops, food and music, and a costume contest, so wear your best garden party attire!)
  • May through December:  Forklift First Fridays (We stay open late on the first Friday of each month, and put on a party with live music, food trucks, local artists, and a popup bar)
  • Early Fall:  This Old Warehouse (with workshops and advice on preserving and restoring old homes, yummy food, and live music from local bands)
  • November 25th & 26th:  Green Friday & Small Business Saturday (This is our alternative to the consumerism of Black Friday.  We’ll have a craft corner for all ages, and workshops on upcycling and making gifts.  We’ll also have photos with Santa, food trucks, and live music)

Please sign up for our blog and newsletter to receive all of our party updates and details!

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Thanks to Sarah & Samantha Photography for capturing the fun at our 2013 Garden Party



Free Workshops

In addition to our parties, we also offer DIY reuse & renovation workshops throughout the year.  These are free of charge to the community. Whether it’s a workshop on “
how to build a cold-frame for starting seeds” or a workshop on “period-appropriate renovations for historic homes,” we explore different ways to encourage reuse and environmental stewardship in your own home. Check out our upcoming workshops on our calendar page.

If you are a tradesperson or creative DIYer and would like to host a workshop on practical how-to’s or creative reuse, please propose your workshop idea here.

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Sue of Tanglewood Works

When asked by a client to describe her style Susan replied “Not really Shabby Chic, more like ShaBADABA Chic!” The name stuck and a business was born.

Susan and her team find old furniture and vintage treasure and then works with local artisans by using the furniture as a canvas. Each piece become its own work of art. Susan’s experience as a designer landed her on HGTV’s Generation Renovation (http://www.wdavidseidel.com/alameda_int_photo_album.htm) where her fearless color schemes left even the crew with dropped jaws.

Now Susan is sharing these colorful creations with the public right here at Tanglewood Works, a project of Community Forklift.

You can view a list of her classes here.


Participation in Festivals and Events

Are you having a community festival or event? Our outreach team would love to be there to support your efforts and help educate the community!

Please contact us at Events(at)CommunityForklift(dot)org  about exhibiting or speaking at your upcoming event.
2012 - 5 Riverdale Arts Festival booth


Volunteer Program



Come get your hands dirty for a good cause! Volunteer at the Forklift for a few hours, a day, or even on a regular basis. Opportunities range from helping out at community events to cleaning up and organizing incoming donations.

If you are interested in volunteering, please fill out our inquiry form:

Volunteer Inquiry Form


Internship Program



Community Forklift offers year-round, semester-long internships. This is an excellent opportunity to learn more about green business and gain valuable work experience in the rapidly growing industry of reuse and sustainability.

Find more information about our internship program here.