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 (HELP)

Community Forklift works with individuals and families in need through HELP, a charity-based program that provides home appliances and other essentials to those who qualify for low-income or other need-based assistance.



If you or someone you know needs an appliance, bathroom fixture, or building material that will provide a safer & better living environment, and would like to apply, fill out our application by clicking the link below.

HELP Application


Community Building Blocks Program

Community Forklift works with area nonprofit and community groups to provide materials for projects. Whether it is a community garden, theatre production, or arts program, we offer mini-grants to support these community development efforts. If you just need to borrow something from our store, we do loans too!

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


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.


Special Events

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

March 28, 2015 6th Annual Spring Garden Party

Spring is a time for rebirth and renewal. Here at the ‘Lift, we give new life to old materials… So what better place to celebrate the season?  

Our annual Garden Party & Sale is our largest and longest-running tradition.  Drawing over 1,500 guests last year, it’s a crazy and fun-filled day!   After squirreling away landscaping and garden supplies all winter, we put them all out for sale at once – and yup, they go quickly when we open the gates at 9am!

Just as exciting are plant and seed sales, demonstrations, live music, activities for the whole family, and a lemonade lunch with grilled goodies. Our favorite part of the tradition is the Costume Contest, so get out your jaunty caps, seersucker suits, frilly garden party dresses, and huge hats (friendly pets can dress up too).

Because it’s such a busy day, please consider carpooling or public transportation.


Here are our 2015 party dates:

  • March 28th, 9-5p, 6th Annual Spring Garden Party
  • May 1st, 6-8p, Forklift First Fridays
  • June 5th, 6-8p, Forklift First Fridays
  • June 20th, 12-4p, Green Job Fair @ Vigilante Coffee co.
  • July 3rd, 6-8p, Forklift First Fridays
  • August 7th, 6-8p, Forklift First Fridays
  • September 4th, 6-8p, Forklift First Fridays
  • September 12th, 12-4p, This Old Warehouse Event
  • November 27th, 9-5p, Green Friday
  • November 28th, 9-5p,Small Business Saturday

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


Free Workshops

In addition to our parties, we also offer DIY reuse & renovation workshops 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 below:

April 11, 2pm-3pm: Respectful, Chemical Free Beekeeping

Azure B LLC will provide an overview of the basic – the bees, the lingo, the equipment and the details of how to get started. You will leave the workshop with a sense of the responsibilities involved in caring for honeybees, what to expect throughout the year and a good sense of whether beekeeping is a good fit for you!

After years in the organic pet food and grocery industry, Stefano Briguglio escaped the city and bought a tiny farm in Marbury, MD with the dream of becoming a self taught farmer. Quite by accident, he developed a mutual fondness with honeybees and has cared for the ladies every since. When he is not spreading the word of the respectful, chemical free revolution in beekeeping, he is loving on his family, brewing bio-diesel or tending to one the million chores required to run even the tiniest of farms.

April 18, 2pm-3pm: Welcoming Wildlife to your Garden

Join local garden writer Alison Gillespie to talk about ways to nurture habitat in urban gardens. City lots and balconies may be small, but the actions taken in our tiny backyards can add up to a big difference for creatures like dragonflies, bees, butterflies, migratory birds and many other creatures. Plus, providing a space for wildlife can make city living more rewarding for humans. This workshop will include practical advice on the basics of providing for creatures large and small, and ways to avoid attracting unwanted visitors, such as rats. Alison will also be signing copies of her book, Hives in the City: Keeping Honey Bees Alive in an Urban World.

Alison Gillespie has been gardening for wildlife for more than twenty years, and her popular blog Where You Are Planted details how urban gardeners can take steps to improve the habitat of their own backyards for the sake of creatures like bees, butterflies and birds. Her book about urban beekeepers working to keep honey bees alive in the urban core of the Mid-Atlantic was published last year and is available at bookstores as well as online. Find out more about her writing at www.alisongillespie.com.

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.


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 here about exhibiting or speaking at your upcoming event.


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.