May Newsletter
Great discounts this month, free stuff is back, 
& Plant Sale each Saturday!
panorama of warehouse 
 34,000 sq. ft. of  Low-Cost Building Materials 
 A Project of Sustainable Community Initiatives
2010 City Paper Readers' Choice Best Home Goods Store 
In this month's newsletter...
Hours & location
How to donate
Plant Sale!
Big News on Building Fund
More Good News!
Hard time finding parking here?
Are you a people person?
Green Job Training
FREE STUFF is back!
Creative renovation ideas
Space for Rent
Visit our huge warehouse at

4671 Tanglewood Drive,

Edmonston/Hyattsville MD 20781




Wed 12-7

Thurs, Fri, Sat 9-5

Sun 12-5



Mon & Tues
How to Donate 
To donate building materials,
click here,
or call 301-832-0781.
To donate money, click here
or call 301-985-5180  
(Let us know if you would like your contribution to go to our our general fund, or specifically to our capital campaign, Rooting a Green Business in Our Community).
Don't miss the
Plant Sale!
Each Saturday
in May from
10am - 1pm
The Neighborhood Farm Initiative
will be here selling
vegetable plants!
Tomato seedlings - $3.50
Brandywine OTV, Illini Star, Black Cherry, Sungold Cherry, Beefsteak, Cherokee Purple, Roma, and Amish Paste
Pepper seedlings - $2.50
Jalapeno, Cayenne, and Banana Peppers
Basil seedlings - $1.50
NFI logo 
 Plant sale proceeds will be used to support the work of the Neighborhood Farm Initiative.  A project of the America the Beautiful Fund, the NFI is a  nonprofit educational urban farm in NE DC, and it was created by our very own Bea Trickett.
 NFI field growing  
Big News about the Building Fund!

At the beginning of the year we launched our capital campaign, "Rooting a Green Business in This Community."   Our goal is to raise enough to purchase our own warehouse (ideally at our current location!) and make improvements.  Owning our own building will allow us to invest in much-needed repairs and better lighting.  Most importantly, it will ensure our financially stability in the long term so that we will be able to "lift" up the local community for years to come. 

Well, we have some huge news!  The Maryland State Legislature has passed a bond bill to raise

in matching funds for our capital campaign. 

We owe a

giant thank-you
to our local legislators!!!  
The bond bill was sponsored by ALL of our representatives from the 22nd district (Del. Tawanna Gaines, Del. Anne Healey, Del. Justin Ross  and Sen. Paul Pinsky) as well as Senator David Harrington of the 47th District. 

Del. Gaines
pic of Del. Gaines

Del. Healey
pic of Del. Healey

Del. Ross 
pic of Del. Ross

Sen. Pinsky
pic of Sen. Pinsky

Sen. Harrington
pic of Sen. Harrington

They were the driving force behind the passage of this funding, and we are so grateful for their work.  It was great to have the whole delegation supporting us. Senator Pinsky explained, "Bond bills are all about making investments in the community, and we all know Community Forklift is an investment that will pay off!" 

However, there is one important thing to remember:  This is a huge bite out of the total needed to create a permanent home for Community Forklift, but...  

these are 
matching funds.
This means that we will not receive the bond money from the state unless we are able to raise the rest of the money required.  
 If you haven't donated yet, here is how to contribute to our capital campaign:
"Rooting a green business in the community"
1. To donate online, click here
2.  Drop it off at the store,

3.  Call 301-985-5180 to donate over the phone, or

4.  Mail a check to 4671Tanglewood Drive, Edmonston MD 20781. 

(Please make checks out to SCI, & write "CF Building Fund" in the memo line)  

More good news about the building fund!
J.F. at a market in Kabul

JF in Kabul bazaar

Remember J.F., who likes to visit Community Forklift in between deployments?  In our March newsletter, we announced her challenge:  If we could raise at least $1,000 for the building fund in one month, she would send us $1,000 herself. 

Well, when we tallied up all the March donations, we realized that the Forklift Fans had more than met the challenge!  You all contributed $1,500 to the capital campaign!!!  That puts us at almost $9,000 so far.

Thanks so much to everyone, and keep those donations rolling in!  Best wishes to J.F. as she heads overseas again this week. 

Finally - more parking spots!

car parking 

We know parking has been tough to find here at the warehouse, especially on bright spring days when everyone comes looking for home improvement inspiration!


There is now overflow parking for Community Forklift customers 

in the DC Van Lines lot, between their warehouse and the railroad tracks (if you are facing Community Forklift's entrance, DC Van Lines is to your right, and the overflow parking is on the far side).  Please feel free to park there.  Then, after you check out, pull your vehicle into our courtyard to load your purchase.  
Like to tinker with old stuff?

volunteers raising hands


We are currently looking for a few good volunteers to help customers in our Salvage Arts department.  No experience with antiques necessary, just an interest in architectural artifacts, people skills, and the ability to volunteer a few times a month.  It's a great chance to learn, and to meet other Forklift Fans!  Please send an email and/or resume to or call 301-985-5180.     


May Sales!
For the first time ever...
25% off Cabinet Sets!
pic of walnut cab setpic of maple cabinet set
For the first time EVER, we're putting sets of kitchen cabinets on sale.  Just take 25% off the marked price!  Right now, we have over 19 sets to choose from, of all sizes and come in soon to get the best selection. (Sale does not include bathroom cabinets, sets without prices, or individual "orphan" cabinets). 
Please remember that our volunteers and Reuse Associates cannot help with loading.  Therefore, we offer a free storage service:  after purchasing your set, you have two weeks to find your own helpers and/or borrow a vehicle to pick it up.
Half off Panel Doors!
photo of panel doors 
Take 50% off the marked price of all reclaimed interior wood panel doors priced at $34 or less (Sale does not include hollow-core, surplus, exterior, bifold, or other styles of doors.  Sale does not include doors without price tags).
Half off Sinks!
picture of sinks 
Take 50% off the marked price on all reclaimed kitchen and bathroom sinks priced at $34 or less (Sale does not include sinks with matching vanities, vessel sinks, pedestal sinks, surplus sinks, or sinks without price tags).  
Half off One-Piece Toilets! 
picture of one-piece toilets 
Take 50% off the marked price on one-piece toilets priced at $85 or less.  These elegant, low-profile fixtures usually cost hundreds of dollars new, so this is a great deal!  (Sale does not include 2-piece toilets, or toilets without price tags).
50% off Nails! 
picture of nails 
It's a good time to stock up...this month, loose nails are
just 25 cents a pound! (Regular price is $0.50/lb.)

Green job training underway!


As you know, Community Forklift is a project of the nonprofit Sustainable Community Initiatives (SCI).  Getting the store up and running has taken a lot of work, but things are going smoothly now and SCI has recently been able to take on a new project! 


This spring, SCI has partnered with the Youth Build Public Charter School to provide a green job training program in deconstruction (Youth Build PCS, a vocational training and GED preparatory school, has been operated by the Latin American Youth Center in DC since 1995). 

Instructor Jimmie Majette shows Claudia L. how to bundle flooring
pic of Jimmie and Claudia bundling flooring
A dozen Youth Build students, 16-24 years old, are currently enrolled in SCI's new program.  They are learning the skills needed to carefully dismantle, or "deconstruct," a building so that materials can be preserved and reused.  The program is funded by a Recovery Act Grant from the US Dept. of Labor. 

Yoel L. is de-nailing trim
pic of Yael L. denailing trim


So far the students have learned how to remove wood flooring and trim, railings, carpeting, roofing, sheathing, and rafters.  In the next two weeks they will get their first experiences in removing drywall, windows, appliances, fencing, and a deck and gazebo. 


If you are curious about the program, feel free to call Jim Schulman, the Program Administrator, at 202/544-0069.  

Free Stuff is BACK!

picture of free sticker
 As you may remember, we used to have a "Free on Fridays" section near the entrance. 

Now, we have free items throughout the store, every day of the week!  
Find any item with a neon "FREE" sticker, and it's yours - free.* Be sure to show the item to the cashier at the check-out counter.  Free items are not eligible for storage; they must be removed at time of acquisition

*Stickers are invalid if they have been tampered with 

in any way or if the sticker has been moved. If there is ANY question about the validity of the sticker, Community Forklift Management will decide.  All decisions are final.

Forklift Fans
of the Month:
Everett Scrivner 
& Jeff Godfrey
(Profiled by Ruthie M.)
The Forklift Fans are one of the best things about Community Forklift.  Our customers and donors represent every type of Washingtonian, from all corners of the region and all sorts of backgrounds.  They always have such great stories to, each month, we plan to share them with you. 
 This month, we have special treat: 
Everett and Jeff invited us over for a
pic of Piso the cat
They live with Piso the cat and one other roommate in NE DC.  The cozy little home is the second house that they have remodeled.  In fact, they're in the process of forming their own property investment and renovation business.  Everett is talented at design, and Jeff's specialty is turning those ideas into reality.

The house sits on a slope, and had quite a bit of water damage due to drainage issues.   They still have a lot to do before the house is finished.  However, I was really impressed with their problem-solving and creativity so far! 

pic of potting table

I began my tour in their backyard, where they used a flat door (bought at Community Forklift for a couple bucks) to build a sturdy potting table.  Sunflowers and several varieties of tomatoes are starting to poke up.


pic of old door as privacy screenAs I approached the back entrance, I saw a weathered door affixed to the side of the house.  Everett told me that it came from CF, and he used it to solve two problems.  Because their kitchen is small, they chose a full-glass entrance to bring a lot of light in.  However, the next house is quite close, so privacy is an issue.  The old door makes a charming visual screen, so they are able to enjoy the sunlight without staring at the neighbors.


pic of mini sample windowEntering the kitchen, I saw a little window set high in the wall that faced the neighbors.  I got a kick out of the fact that it was actually a sample - a window company used it at trade shows before donating it to CF!  It was perfect for their use, because it lets in light, but provides privacy.  In addition, the mini window is small enough that they still have plenty of room to mount shelves on that wall for much-needed storage.  Ingenious!


pic of fridge and microwaveBelow the sample window is a large microwave waiting to be mounted under a shelf, and to the left is a big, beautiful, stainless steel fridge with an icemaker.  They purchased the microwave for $30 at CF, and the fridge and entire kitchen cabinet set for about $1,000.  Everett said, "If we hadn't come to Community Forklift, we would have had to pay more than that for just the fridge!"  The deep sink and butcher block counters came from Ikea, and the faucet and other appliances came from CF and other reclaimed sources.

pic of cabinets and breakfast bar 

I admired the pretty black granite breakfast bar separating the kitchen from the living room.  They told me that originally, the first floor was chopped into tiny, dark rooms.  They took that wall down so that the space would be more open and bright.  The breakfast bar was a great solution, and they were psyched to find just the right scrap of granite at CF.  I think the color really ties together their white cabinets with the black & stainless appliances.  Everything fits in cleverly; for example, they were able to back the gas stove against the bar, giving them room for a dishwasher next to the sink.

 pic of bathroom under the stairs 

As I went through the living room, I noticed something going on in the space beneath the stairs.  They are carving out a second bathroom there, and Jeff showed me a long fixed window that they'd found at CF.  He will install it above the bathroom door, to bring a lot of light into that dim nook.  I am so impressed with Everett's creativity!  He dreams up such useful purposes for the odd-sized windows he finds at our store.

pic of jeff with great tile work Upstairs, Jeff showed off his beautiful tile work in the main bathroom.  Although the slate tiles were purchased new, just about everything else came from CF, including the window, the tub, the shower mixer, the low-profile toilet, the sink faucet, the sink, and the vanity.  The nifty green mirror, which inspired the color scheme, is also a reclaimed item.


pic of toiletvanitypic of tub and shower mixer


I also peeked into their basement, where the hill is pushing in a section of the basement wall a bit.  They used beams and a basement jack from CF to shore up the house temporarily, until they can afford to carve out the dirt and rebuild a stronger wall with rebar reinforcement and modern techniques.


pic of everett with free shed doorOn my way out, I wanted to snap a shot of Everett, so he posed by the shed door.  Once a back door on another home in Washington, it ended up in Community Forklift's free section because the panels were a bit loose (Speaking of which, our free items are back again!  Read the story in this newsletter).    He spotted it, and saved it from the landfill with the use of some braces he had on hand.  He plans to spruce it up a bit more in the future, when he puts siding on the shed.


Thanks so much to Jeff and Everett for inviting us over.

I was amazed that even with the unfinished drywall, exposed subfloor, and ongoing renovation, it is still such a welcoming and comfortable home.  I am excited to visit them again, when the project is complete and they are ready to celebrate!
Is your house full of Community Forklift stuff?  Contact to be featured in a future house tour! 
Office/Storage Space for Rent

Did you know that Community Forklift sublets a small amount of space to other local businesses, including several with a similar focus on green jobs and green construction?  We have some spots available now.  Please contact Jim Schulman at 202/544-0069 to inquire about subletting space.



Great Website!


 Have you heard of


 When you hate to send something to the landfill, (and it's not something that can be donated to Community Forklift), check out this directory!  Just enter your zip code to find local donation and recycling options.


 picture of appliance department
Buy any Community Forklift
 appliance, and take $15 off!

Print this coupon and bring it in to receive $15.00 off your purchase of any Community Forklift stove, fridge, freezer, microwave, dishwasher, wall oven, washing machine, or dryer (Coupon cannot be used for consignment appliances from Alco repair company, or for water heaters, A/C units, furnaces, or other machines.  Other restrictions may apply).  Please note:  our volunteers and staffers cannot assist with loading.  So, we offer a free storage service:  after purchasing your appliance, you have two weeks to find your own helpers and/or borrow a vehicle to pick it up.

Offer Expires: May 30, 2010.  Limit one coupon per household per month.