MSU students help to ‘Lift the community

For the second year in a row, Forklift was thrilled to host a group of students from Michigan State University who traveled to Maryland to perform community service during their spring break. They participated in the Alternative Spartan Breaks program, MSU’s initiative to match up groups of service-oriented students with nonprofits and service opportunities around the country. The group that came to Forklift had applied to complete their service in the field of “fostering a sustainable community.”

Reuse Associate Jane (left) directing volunteers Rebecca and Val in an overhaul of the joist hangers

The group of 11 worked hard and kept a positive attitude throughout their long days here in our warehouse, during which they accomplished an amazing amount. In just 4 days, they:

  • Sorted through 6 pallets of vintage tile, worth over $32,000
  • Pulled nails out of almost 200 square feet of antique heart pine flooring
  • Removed nails from every single bundle of stair balusters in the warehouse
  • Reorganized our hardware section and bagged over 100 pounds of hardware
  • Assisted staff in processing donations and clearing space in both of our warehouses
  • Cleaned our Reuse Resource Room to prepare for upcoming workshops
  • Painted signs, cleaned our courtyard, and created decorations for the  Forklift Garden Party (our annual fundraiser, coming up on March 24th!)

Volunteers Colleen, Megan, Matt and John with the flooring they denailed

In addition to helping us cross several large items off our list of long-term goals, the folks from MSU served as an enthusiastic reminder to everyone here that the work we do every day is in service of a worthy goal. Having a dozen college students volunteer their entire spring break to work along side us towards our mission boosted the energy of everyone here.

We are so grateful to the MSU Alternative Breakers, and hope that they had as much fun as we did!

Volunteers Val and Shayna working on the baluster section