January 2013
Forklift Fan-Mail





Closed Mondays

Open Tues 12-6

Wed, Thurs, & Fri 10-6

Sat & Sun 9-6


(Please drop off donations before 5:30pm)



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How We Lift Up Local Communities
A Family of Forklift Fans
Hiring Bilingual Help
January Sales & Freebies - Starting Jan 2nd
Plaster Project Contest - Get Creative!
LAST CHANCE to take our survey!
Dear Forklift Fans,

Have you taken our quick online survey yet?  The survey closes on Dec 31st, so please take a moment to share your thoughts!  As we reflect on 2012 and plan for the future, your input is invaluable to improve the Forklift experience for community members, customers & donors.  The survey should only take about ten minutes, and you'll receive a $5 gift certificate to thank you for your time!
Don't forget that there are only 3 days left to shop at our Green Gift Fair - do you need host/ess gifts for New Years Eve parties?  Come on in!

We also have GIFT CARDS now available in any amount you desire - what better way to introduce your friends and neighbors to the Forklift!

Please note we will be closed on New Years Day, and will return to regular hours on January 2nd. 


Community Forklift Gives Back
Our reuse center provides renovation supplies to the public at very low prices.  This lifts up the community in so many ways:  by creating jobs, making repairs affordable, reducing waste, and stimulating the local economy, to name a few. 
But did you know that we also provide free materials to nonprofits and families in need?  
In February of 2012, Community Forklift formalized a new program called HELP -- our Home EssentiaLs Program.  Through HELP, we donate essentials like appliances and bathroom fixtures to local low-income families, veterans, and seniors.  We receive referrals from non-profit partners that serve folks in need, and then we provide the free items directly to their clients.

This really adds up - this year, Community Forklift donated $14,306 worth of appliances and other home essentials to 226 people in 71 households across the DC metro region!  
In addition to helping individuals, we donate supplies to a wide variety of local nonprofits and community groups.  From January 2012 through the end of November, Community Forklift provided over $34,400 in free materials to 71 different organizations!  
ECO City Farms
We also loaned over $1,900 worth of materials to 16 local theaters, schools, and neighborhood groups who needed items for special events.

Community Forklift materials 
have been used for:
  • building community gardens & outdoor classrooms 
  • painting murals
  • training fire fighters
  • beautifying communities 
  • producing a Public Service Announcement   
  • providing hands-on vocational training
    Bowie Community Theater
  • building theater sets
  • repairing substandard housing
  • cooking thousands of meals through church feeding programs
  • installing & repairing playgrounds
  • building musical instruments
  • fostering creative art projects 
  • supporting school clubs - from woodworking to art to drama to gardening!
  • supporting scouting projects - read our latest blog post about Daniel, the Eagle Scout

If your non-profit or community group would like to partner with Community Forklift, please email Bea(at) to request an application!
Treasure Hunting at the Forklift 
is a Family Affair

By Elizabeth McGowan

When Jose Ortiz enrolled in medical school in his native Honduras, he expected to eventually apply his healing touch to broken bones, upset stomachs and ailing organs.


But then life intervened. He fell in love with a fellow student, Denise Cintron, and soon bravely followed her to her family's home county of Prince George's after they married in November 2004. Memories of studying medicine faded as Denise pursued a career as an office manager and Jose cleaned roof gutters by day while earning certification as a plumbing, electrical and heating, ventilation and air conditioning specialist at night.



Twenty-one-month-old Joaquin Ortiz-Cintron revels in the sawdust that his parents, Jose Ortiz and Denise Cintron, have generated while transforming their Capitol Heights basement into a rentable apartment. They bought the kitchen cabinets and black and white backsplash tile - as well as hundreds of other items - at Community Forklift.

Now Jose applies his doctoring skills to aching homes in the Washington, D.C. region. These days, his main "patient" is the 73-year-old Capitol Heights, Maryland, bungalow the couple bought in August 2009. Jose and Denise are resuscitating their little tan house - from the drain of its basement sump pump to the peak of its asphalt roof - with supplies and tools from Community Forklift.


Hardwood floors, ceramic tiles, a large glass block window, a stainless steel kitchen sink, kitchen cupboards, bathroom vanities, carpet squares in a walk-in closet, ceiling light covers, vents, light switch covers, and yards of trim and molding are just some of the evidence of their discovery of the surplus and salvage jackpot in Edmonston.


"It's so awesome at the Forklift," Denise, 29, says while walking across the odd lots of handsome hardwood flooring that Jose painstakingly pieced together in appealing patterns in the living room and front hallway. "You have to know what you are looking for, but there are really good deals. And what you don't you use, you can donate back."


"We knew we didn't want carpet," Jose, 34, chimes in, adding how elated he was to rip out the hideous carpet they inherited with the house. "It just took us a while to figure out the look we wanted."  


Forklift staffers are familiar with the family's prolific and epic ventures to the 40,000-square foot warehouse. Jose, with his distinctive black ringlets, inches his way down each aisle methodically, measuring once, twice and perhaps three times to make sure no matter what he buys is a sound investment. Several hours later, his cart will be stuffed with a motley and unwieldy collection of necessities that go into the guts of most every house:  a garbage disposal, screws, nails, valves, angle iron, PVC and copper pipes, paint cans, drywall mesh, sheetrock compound and grout.


Not far away, Denise mingles exuberantly with Forklift staffers and customers, and periodically reminds Jose that Joaquin - their almost two-year-old toddler who inherited his father's black curls - is becoming a bit antsy.


Yes, they both agree, their home improvement projects would proceed much more rapidly if they shopped exclusively at big box stores. But they are willing to follow the slower route because of the magnetic pull of the Community Forklift's hot coffee, monthly specials, discounted prices, funky inventory, welcoming staff and offbeat events.


In October, for instance, the family donned zombie and pirate costumes and spent a Saturday at the Forklift's Pirate Party and Treasure Hunt.




All our full-time positions are now filled, but we are still looking for a bilingual Spanish-speaker with weekend availability.  Please see our website for more info.  


January Sales
Starts Wednesday, January 2nd


25% off Most Salvaged Doors

Take 25% off salvaged unframed wood doors priced at $40 or less, including interior and exterior doors (Sale does not include metal doors, prehung doors, doors with missing or damaged price tags, select specialty items, and white-tagged items from our consignment partners.)

Bricks for a Nickel

Salvaged bricks are just five cents each! (Sale does not include surplus bricks, concrete pavers, concrete block, historic bricks, or specialty items.)


Stair Balusters for a Quarter  


Pay just 25 cents each for single wood balusters!  Includes modern and vintage used balusters.  Regularly priced at $.50 to $3.00 each (Sale does not include sets of balusters, surplus items, white-tagged items from the Salvage Arts department, and vinyl or metal balusters).

50% Off Steel Studs & J-Track

While supplies last, all steel studs are 10 cents a foot instead of the usual 20 cents. Corner bead/J-Track is now 5 cents a foot instead of the usual 10 cents (Sale does not include angle iron, other metal stock, and items from consignment partners).


Five Gallon Buckets of Stuff for $5

Just $5 for any 4- or 5-gallon bucket of adhesive, tar, color paint, or whatever liquid or powder we have! (Sale does not include white or off-white paint, gallon or quart cans, hardware buckets, and select specialty items.)

FREE Plaster Trim!!!

We still have a ton of samples left from the closing of a plaster-making workshop in Brentwood.  All pieces of trim under 7 feet in length are free, while supplies last - we bet you can find a creative use for them! (This giveaway does not include plaster medallions, brackets, décor, or crown molding).


Bring in your plaster project (or photos) for display in our new artists' showcase by January 13th.  You could win a $25 gift certificate!

Email Bea(at) for details 



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Have a happy New Year - we hope to see you often in 2013!


Your friends at Community Forklift