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 provides home repair supplies and other household essentials free-of-cost to families and individuals who qualify for need-based assistance. Since 2012, Community Forklift has provided over $85,000 worth of materials to 1,200 people in 370 households!

If you or someone you know needs repair supplies, household fixtures, or other building materials that will provide a safer, better living environment, please read the attached letter linked here for more information about our program. Then, fill out our application by clicking the link below. A member of our outreach team will be in touch within 1-2 weeks to review the application and set up an appointment time. For questions, please call (301) 832-0515. 

Home Essentials Application

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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 200+ organizations and has provided more than $62,000 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. In fact, we have been voted DC’s “Best Green Business” by the Washington City Paper every year since 2013! Our team has hosted everyone from preschoolers and scout groups to grad students and Department of State visitors to teach groups of all ages 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 call (301) 832-0515.

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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.

Our 2016 events —

  • 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 period-appropriate renovations for historic houses, 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 full day, or even on a regular basis. Opportunities for individuals and groups include organizing and cleaning donations, helping to design or rearrange sections of our store, assisting with community events, and more. We can even arrange special projects or more skilled tasks if you’re handy and have a good set of work boots!

Volunteers have a huge impact on our organization and we greatly appreciate your time and efforts. If you are interested in volunteering, please fill out the below form so we can get a little more information about how to best put your talents to work!

Volunteer Form



Internship Program



Community Forklift offers internships every spring, summer, and fall. 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.