July 2009 Newsletter:  Group Think, Naming Rights, & Sizzlin' Sales

A Project of Sustainable Community Initiatives - 34,000 sq. ft. of Low-Cost Building Materials
We stock Alco appliances!
Come to our warehouse,
bring your donation,
& see what's new on the floor!
4671 Tanglewood Drive
Hyattsville, MD 20781
 Hours: Wednesday 12-7
Thursday, Friday, & Saturday  9-5 

Click here for directions

No, we don't sell forklifts.
We're lifting up communities!
And no, we're not having a fundraising campaign.
It's a FRIEND-raising campaign!
Times are tough.  More than ever, there is a need for the work that Community Forklift does:  making repairs affordable, reducing waste, and creating local green jobs.  

While we'd love to receive a bunch of checks made out to our parent nonprofit (Sustainable Community Initiatives), we know you're hearing from many worthy charities right now, and your funds may be low.
 Luckily, there are other ways to help.
Last month, we kicked off a friend-raising campaign.  We asked each of you to tell at least one friend about the benefits of donating building materials.  It must be working, because our truck driver's schedule is filling up!

Now, we need to keep the momentum going. 
This month, we're asking you to think about the groups you belong to.  Can you tell at least one group about donating renovation leftovers?  
Do you belong to a neighborhood listserve?  A union or trade organization?  Perhaps a group for professional networking, parenting, or hobbies?  Maybe you see people giving away stuff on your town's listserve or on Freecycle. 
little girl sending message If they should know about Community Forklift, send a message!  Feel free to copy from the following:
Dear Friends -
I thought you might like to know about a great local resource called The Community Forklift.  They are a huge thrift store for building materials.  Picture a Home Depot crossed with a Goodwill:  instead of accepting clothing or toys, they accept renovation leftovers like lumber, cabinets, tools, and doors.
They have a big truck that picks up donations, or you can drop it off at their warehouse store (it's five minutes from the DC line, between Kenilworth and Rhode Island Ave in the Hyattsville area).  They are operated by a local nonprofit, Sustainable Community Initiatives, so you receive a tax deduction for your donation.  Go to
www.CommunityForklift.com for store hours, directions, and donation guidelines.
Not only do you receive a tax deduction, but you avoid throwing out perfectly good stuff.  Proceeds are used to reduce waste, create local green jobs, and make repairs more affordable for low-income folks, homeowners, nonprofits, and small businesses (prices are set at 50%-90% below big-box stores).  It's also a great resource for renovators, because they have hard-to-find fixtures and vintage hardware.

Still seeking slogans!

 Although the contest to name the antique section is ending soon (see article at right), our slogan contest won't stop until we find some good ones to use on signs, T-shirts, and bumper stickers.  We're looking for short, sassy slogans that capture the spirit of Community Forklift. 
If we use your suggestion, you win
a $50 gift certificate,
as well as a t-shirt or sticker with your slogan. 
Send your ideas to
[email protected] 

Heavy "Lifters"
We know our Forklift Fans are working hard for the Friend-Raising Campaign, but some really stand out! 

michael dillon Volunteer Michael Dillon was planning a summer party for his real estate company, RealAstute.com, and he asked to rent out Community Forklift.  It's a great idea!  All those property managers, realtors and homeowners will be lured out here, and they'll learn about building material reuse while enjoying a nice picnic.

Customer Lisa Byerly mo co emblemworks for the Montgomery County Fire Department.  On her first visit, she was so excited that she took a flyer, made 100 copies, and posted them at government buildings all over the county, to help all those hardworking firefighters, police officers, and public servants save money on repairs.  Way to go, Lisa!  
Several people have arranged for us to speak at their neighborhood associations and professional groups about topics like  "Green Homes for Non-Millionaires," "Designing with Reclaimed Materials," and "Greening Your Small Business."  (Please contact [email protected] if your group is interested.  There is no cost to have her speak at your next meeting...but she'll come early if ice cream is involved!) 
Going The Extra Green Mile

The Green Guild Biodiesel Co-op
recently completed construction of its off-the-grid biodiesel fueling station.  Located in nearby Riverdale, MD, the fueling station was funded by grassroots member investment, and is made from primarily recycled and reused materials - from its shell (a re-purposed sea shipping container); to the materials from Community Forklift (including plumbing parts, interior framing, and paint).
The co-op currently operates the only B99 biodiesel fueling location in the inner-beltway DC area, and has grown to 30 members since first launching last summer!  The fueling station utilizes solar power to run its pump and lighting, and future plans include installing a living wall demonstration. 

To learn more, visit www.GreenGuildBiodiesel.org
green guild painting
biodiesel truck
About that vintage hutch you just don't have room for...
We are on the lookout for cool stuff to stock up the new antique boutique.   
Have you been meaning to clean out your attic, or to whittle down the huge tool collection your dad left you (you don't really need 10 hammers, do you)? 

 Now is the time!  Contact us to find out if your extra items are suitable for donation for our new vintage section.  The proceeds we receive from your items will help us continue to create green jobs, reduce waste and pollution, and make repairs more affordable for low-income folks, nonprofits, and small businesses! 
July Sales & New Stuff!
Surplus Windows
Just arrived:  hundreds of brand-new windows, still in the package!  Come check them out soon - they're flying out of here.  Prices as marked. 
Steel Doors
Select fire-rated steel doors, only $20 - $30 each 
(We recently received a large donation of them... they usually start at $120 retail).  Sale prices are marked.  

four carpet tiles vertical
Carpet Tiles 
Sale continued!  Salvaged 18" carpet tiles are just $0.25 each, while supplies last (Regularly $0.50 each).  Sale does not apply to surplus/new carpet tiles.  Easy solution for playrooms, basements, entry halls, & dorm rooms! 
Interior panel doors
Take 25% off the price of used interior wood panel doors marked at $30 or less (Sale does not include surplus, exterior, louvered, hollowcore, decorative, bifold, cabinet doors, or doors with glass).  Crafty?  Make a cool headboard, room divider..or even a sturdy pot rack, like the one below on ApartmentTherapy.com!
 Door Pot Rack from Apartment Therapy
Cabinet Sets
As of July 1st, we have eighteen sets of kitchen cabinets in stock!  It's rare to have such a wide selection...but thanks to our friend-raising campaign (article at left), cabinets are streaming in.  They go quickly, so hurry down!  Remember, when you buy a large set, you get 10% off the price of the individual pieces (Discounts are marked).
brown cabinets   
white with brass cabs
Take 25% off all light fixtures marked at $30 or less.  Sale does not include lights in the new, un-named vintage department (see article below). 
  light aisle
porch lights 
What's NEW is OLD again! 
Come check out our beautiful new vintage department featuring cool and funky architectural salvage, mantels, re-wired chandeliers, and endless decor possibilities (more info below).
However, it STILL needs a good name! 
We have been asking for your help
and so far, we've heard everything from Ye Olde Village Steam Shovel and The Dessert Fork, to Tanglewood Antiques and Rescued Artifacts.  
Send your name idea to 
[email protected]
for a chance to
win a $50 gift certificate. 
The contest is ending soon!
All entries must be in by July 19.

Community Forklift's Vintage Store
to Open Soon!

Have you noticed the new display area near the checkout?   Our vintage boutique will showcase some types of products already at Community Forklift, including fireplace mantels, doors, windows, shutters, furniture and an expanded section of vintage hardware.  However, our selection of other architectural salvage items will be greatly expanded. 

In the new section, we will feature: 
  • Architectural elements and fragments, including cast iron heating grates, ornamental brick, columns & pilasters, lintels, headers, facades, capitals, moldings and assorted decorative woodwork. 
  • A wide selection of restored and rewired period lamps and lighting fixtures.
  • The D.C. area's largest selection of primitive hand forged ironwork, including garden gates, tools and a wide array of kitchen utensils.
  • An ever-changing selection of old garden accessories, including furniture, statuary, urns and planters.  
  • A unique collection of old tools.
  • Nice handmade utility stoneware jugs and crocks, as well as a limited selection of period art pottery.  
  • Other accessories like advertising tins, brass & copper objects, tin ware, weathervanes, and lightning rods.  We will also have handmade American crafts, old signs, lamp parts, and unique one-of a- kind objects which promise a distinct shopping experience and the best vintage materials!
Takoma Park designer & antiques dealer,
Terry Lewis of  
 Bear Creek Trading,
 will be joining our effort to create this store-within-a-store. Terry has provided critical support in creating our new space.  With 25 years in designing, wood-working, and buying and selling antiques, he brings much needed expertise to our new effort. We are excited and grateful for his vision and motivation.
We are proud that the display itself demonstrates the possibilities of reuse!  Community Forklift reclaimed a large number of rough joists from an old DC school last year.  Soon, you will see chandeliers hanging from some of those big beams.  You might also notice beautiful, smooth display panels - which our friend Dave Radius expertly milled from that same lot of rough wood! 
We plan to begin selling some items by early August - and don't miss our official grand opening celebration in September!!!!



How to donate materials

We make it super easy! 
You can drop it off... 
1.  Check our website to see if we can accept your items (if you're still not sure, give us a call).
2.  Bring your materials to our warehouse during our regular business hours (you must arrive at least 30 minutes before closing). 
 schedule a pick-up!
1. If you're donating bulky items or large amounts of materials, simply fill out our online form at
 and we will contact you within 24 hours (M-F) to arrange a pick-up. 
2.  If you have questions, call our Donations Coordinator at 301-832-0781.
Benefits of Donating Materials:
We will provide documentation for donations under $5,000
(for donations over $5,000, you simply need an independent appraiser to verify the value) 
Instead of dumping excess or used materials in the landfill, you "lift up" your community by making repairs affordable and creating jobs.
It often makes more sense to get rid of excess materials and reduce the monthly cost of renting space.
Your donation will go right to the warehouse floor to be available to folks who need building materials. We serve low-income communities and non-profits all over the DC area.
We WELCOME materials from local construction sites and warehouses. This can be a more attractive, low-hassle option for you than product returns or paying to dump.
Doing good by giving back is excellent "green" relations. We can help ensure that you get the recognition that you deserve for supporting our good work, and can help you broaden your customer base. Ask us how. 
Call today!

stainless steel sinks

Bring in this coupon to receive up to two stainless steel sinks, free!  
Applies only to stainless steel kitchen sinks with PRICE TAGS OF $12 OR LESS. 
Coupon does not apply to stainless sinks without tags, stainless sinks priced at more than $12, bathroom sinks, corian sinks, utility sinks, porcelain sinks, etc.  

Print out the coupon, fill in your name, and hand it to the cashier at checkout to receive your free gift!

Name: _______________________________

Zip code: ____________________________

While supplies last.

Two sinks per household - may not be combined with other offers or used more than once. Not valid toward consignment items. Valid thru 7-31-09.

Cashier Initials: ____________     Date Used: _____________


gate handles

Bring in this coupon to receive a free gate latch & handle! 

Applies to the white metal handle sets with $5.00 tags in the hardware section.  Print out the coupon, fill in your name, and hand it to the cashier at checkout to receive your free gift!

Name: ____________________________
Zip code: ____________________________

While supplies last.

One gate latch per household - may not be combined with other offers or used more than once. Not valid toward consignment items. Valid thru 7-31-09.

Cashier Initials: ____________     Date Used: _____________