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.

Since 2012, Community Forklift donated $51,364.74 to 1,523 people in 474 households.



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 or give us a call at (301) 832-0515.

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!

In 2014, Community Forklift worked with 95 community groups and awarded $31,437 worth of materials for community projects. 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.

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 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.


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.