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 2011, Community Forklift has provided $120,000 worth of materials to our local neighbors in need!

If you or someone you know needs repair supplies, household fixtures, or other building materials that will provide a safer, better living environment, please click here to read the attached letter 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 to review the application and set up an appointment time. For questions, please call (301) 832-0515. 

PLEASE NOTE: Most appliance requests have waiting lists at this time, which may mean the wait could take a few weeks or months. We apologize for the inconvenience and will do our best to get your household the appliance it needs. Thank you for your patience!

Home Essentials Application

Welch Donation 088


2017 Community Building Blocks Program

Community Forklift provides mini-grants of store credit to nonprofits, schools, and volunteer groups who need building materials for projects that serve the greater community. Since 2011, Community Forklift has worked with 400+ organizations and has awarded over $200,000 in store credit for organizations to pick up free materials from our warehouse. We have also loaned out over $18,000 in materials for art installations, theatre productions, and other community events.

Please click the below link to apply. We look forward to working with you!

2017 CBB Application

herb garden cropped


Reuse Incubator for a Sustainable Environment (RISE)

Rise creates small business partnerships to attract, mentor and support small green and reuse businesses. Currently, there are five businesses participating in the program and operating out of the Community Forklift facility; these include Treincarnation, Decorative DeZign Interiors, Tanglewood Works, Salvage Arts and Alco Appliance. We also regularly meet and advise other small businesses who are interested in locating green businesses nearby. We work with the Port Towns Community Development Corporation on economic development, including the EcoDistrict Project for which Community Forklift serves as an anchor organization.


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 contact Events(at)CommunityForklift.org or call Tim or Ruthie at 301-985-5180.

line at gate compressed


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!

three ladies with seeds compressed for web

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.

window workshop compressed


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.