April 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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IN THIS ISSUE - click to jump down to the articles that you wanna read first!, fertilizer - and more goodies for your garden!
Big thank you to our Spring Soiree Partners!
Relax in the Reuse Resource Room
Community Forklift History: Lean & Green
Seeking a Shift Manager
Plant Sales Coming Soon
When it's all too much
Amazing April Sales, Freebies, & Featured Items
This month, we're holding a Friend-Raising Campaign!


Know someone de-cluttering their garage?  Tell 'em we'll pick up their donation for free!  Know someone renovating on a budget?  Send them over to hunt for bargains!  

Help spread the word about what we do, and you can win big:  every week, we'll have a drawing for a $30 Community Forklift gift certificate.


You have unlimited chances to win, and multiple ways to play.  Here's how:


1) Easy!
Just send your friends over to "like" our Facebook page or follow @CommForklift on Twitter. Every time a new subscriber "likes" us AND sends us a private message with your name, you will both be entered into the weekly drawing.



2)  Fun!
Post pictures on our page of you and a friend here at the 'Lift, or working on a Community Forklift-inspired project (Remember to tag yourselves, and send us a private message when done). Every tagged photo of friends gets each of you another entry in our weekly drawing!


By the way, tagging yourself and your friends in photos already posted on our page counts as well. See, it's fun and easy!



3) And more!
We'll also be posting trivia challenges on Twitter and Facebook. The person who gives the first correct answer to each question will receive a $5 gift certificate.  

Stay tuned to our social media for details & updates!

Introducing our newest consignment partner,
ECO City Farms!


ECO City Farms is proud to partner with Community Forklift to offer some of its farm products for sale. Currently, we have seedlings for kale, collards, lettuce and chard, as well as worm castings and hanging pots. In April to May, we expect to have seedlings for warm weather plants, such as tomatoes, squash, eggplants and peppers, as well as potted herbs,
and compost tea. We'll also have pea shoot kits - which provide everything you need to grow your own pea shoots.




ECO City Farms is a nonprofit organization that focuses on community food issues in Prince George's County and the region. Our core operation is an urban farm in Edmonston, Maryland. The activities at our farm include educational tours, volunteer workdays, agriculture training courses, youth summer programs and the sale of healthy food through farmers' markets, farm shares, restaurants, food co-ops, and local caterers. In addition, we educate about the advocate for a revitalized local and just food system, and partner with government, schools, other nonprofits, business and the community.

THANK YOU for making our Spring Soiree our biggest & best event ever! 


We wanna give a big shout-out to all of our fantastic partners who helped make our 2013 Soiree a huge success: 




Here to help your party have some fun -- say goodbye to blurry, black-and-white photostrips that get lost in your pocket; Sarah & Samantha give your party guests a memento they'll want to frame and hold onto forever!



For more photos of the Spring Soiree, 
Committed to establishing a local currency system that promotes local economic strength and community self-reliance in ways that will support economic and social justice, ecology, community participation and human aspirations.

One of 12 Heritage Areas certified by the State of Maryland under the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority; ATHA seeks to preserve nearly 84 square miles of Northern Prince Georges County.

Works to protect and restore the Anacostia River and its watershed communities by cleaning the water, recovering the shores, and honoring the heritage.

A community resource for companion animals and their guardians, stocking essentials for the socially conscious pet.


An educational, non-profit organization located  in Prince George's County, Maryland designed to serve as a prototype for sustainable local urban farming, growing great food, farms and farmers! 

All-natural, chemical-free lotions, potions, creams, salves, balms, oils, and bath salts made with love in small batches.

  Believes that backyard chickens are wonderful pets that provide many benefits to their owners and to the community.   

 Utilizes environmental restoration goals as a vehicle for community development in the region of the Anacostia watershed.


Cultivating a resourceful community of adults and teenagers working together to engage in small-scale food production in the Washington, D.C. area.

One Heart Muzik DJs
DJ One Heart and DJ Livi always play your favorite tunes!
Keller Williams Capital Properties
Kurt donated the jerk chicken and spent hours grilling it up to perfection at our Spring Soiree - thank you for the delicious addition! 
The Greenfields Company and their President, Byrne Kelly, donated their professional services, labor, and equipment to help Community Forklift prepare for our Spring Soiree.  Byrne is a Design-Build Residential & Landscape Architect and an Environmental Planner based in Takoma Park, and he has been involved with Community Forklift since its inception.




Our new Reuse Resource Room!


Community Forklift has created a new, flexible, "open-air" Reuse Resource Room!  What's in store for you here?
  • A spot to relax & connect with other Forklift Fans while enjoying seasonal refreshments!
  • Special events!
  • How-to workshops!
  • Artist demonstrations!
  • Ask-the-expert sessions!
  • Movie screenings!
  • Volunteer workdays!
  • Community events - want to use this space?  Ask us!  




We had a lot of fun learning about how to reuse materials in our gardens at the Spring Soiree -- stay tuned for more do-it-yourself/skill-building workshops throughout the year!


    • Saturday April 20th, 1-4pm
    • Saturday April 27th, 1pm  

Got skills?
  • Are you a contractor, woodworker, artist, DIY-er, or general handy-person?
  • Do you reuse materials in your work or hobbies?
  • Are you willing to spend a couple hours showing other Forkilft Fans the basics of what you do & how you do it?

  • Please email Bea(at) if you'd like to lead a workshop, Q&A "Ask the Expert" session, or hands-on demonstration at the Forklift!

Lean and Green: Forklift Nurtures Eco-Mission
One Relationship at a Time

By Elizabeth McGowan 


Ah, Earth Day. It's that shiny moment in April abuzz with anybody and everybody talking their saving-the-planet talk.


Of course, actually walking that environmental walk is a bit trickier-especially on a year-round basis. But with its unique voice and gait, the Community Forklift seems to have figured out that 365-day-a- year talk and walk balance.


And, as any regular customer knows, the Edmonston nonprofit hasn't had to preach any holier-than-thou, eat-your-broccoli, recycle-or-die sermons to achieve that eco-equilibrium during its seven-year history.


Instead, ever since its tiny but ingenious staff of four scratched out a daring reuse mission of "lifting up communities" back in late 2005, the Forklift has chosen to welcome anybody dedicated to advancing this grand but funky green experiment with a warm smile and a hearty embrace.


This open-minded approach - a combination of outside-the-box thinking and old-fashioned elbow grease - has spawned legitimate conservation credentials for the Forklift. For instance, the venture has created 30 green jobs, a seven-fold increase in seven years, to keep its 34,000-square foot warehouse humming. It's evolved into a donation repository where tradespeople, contractors, property owners and institutions as diverse as National Geographic and the Smithsonian Institution have diverted $8 million worth of building materials from landfills, giving 20,000 local homeowners access to affordable repairs and renovations.


"We're hitting our stride," said Nancy Meyer, the Forklift's chief executive officer since 2012. "We're still in a high-growth mode so the challenge now is attending to a million details and trying to make order in a young organization."


Meyer had joined the small Forklift staff as its business manager in early 2007 when it was barely out of its infancy. Her arrival seemed a hand-in-glove fit for an advocate who had gravitated to a career nurturing young and struggling nonprofits, after earning an undergraduate degree in Individual Studies and Art and doing graduate work in American Studies and Education. Before attending college in her mid-20s, she made her living as a union-trained carpenter for several years.


By 2009, Meyer had advanced to a position as the Forklift's chief operating officer, charged with guiding an earnest but somewhat wobbly toddler of an organization.


"I knew this place was not business as usual and I wanted to maximize its potential," she said about the Forklift's magnetic pull that has kept her there for six years. "I enjoy dealing with the building materials, but this is about being at a place that's the crossroads of a community where so many different people interact."


Lists compiled by organizations such as the Building Materials Reuse Association, a trade group the Forklift belongs to, are evidence that hundreds of home improvement thrift stores exist nationwide. And they wouldn't be operating if they couldn't collect the lumber, flooring, woodwork, doors, appliances, bathtubs, sinks and lighting fixtures that attract customers.


Meyer certainly comprehends the value of each of those items. But in her view, they are a means for cultivating relationships with every layer of the community, not the be-all and end-all. 


Simply put, people matter at the Forklift.  


"Yes, we sell stuff but it's never just about the materials," Meyer said. "A vital part of what we do is respect and honor the part humans play. It's about building capacity and knowledge."


Keep reading to learn more about
Forklift's unconventional philosophy,
in which less can actually be more!

Now Hiring!

Do you have retail management experience?


Community Forklift is seeking an energetic, detail oriented, mission-driven individual with supervisory experience and excellent people skills to work full-time with our growing green business as a new Retail Shift Supervisor!  More details on our website. 



Want to donate building materials,
but not sure what we accept? 

Community Forklift accepts most reusable building materials, tools, hardware, and gardening items. If the materials can be reused as were originally intended or repurposed, the items will probably be accepted.

If an item is filthy, broken, inoperative or missing pieces then it is NOT reusable.
NOTE: Vintage or antique items generally accepted!



Are you doing spring cleaning?  Don't forget, our truck travels around the Metro area Monday-Friday picking up donations from your doorstep or jobsite.


Click to schedule a home pickup!


Plant sales are coming soon!


Medicinal Seedlings 
Saturday April 27

Saturday May 4th

Our friends at Leafyhead Lotions & Potions will be selling medicinal seedlings at Community Forklift on these two days only!  These hard-to-find plants have special medicinal uses, and herbal medicine master Tricia McCauley will be here to answer all your questions.  Here's a few examples of what she'll have available:

Alkanet, angelica, arnica, basil, boneset, calendula, california poppy, catnip, cilantro, comfrey, dill, fennel, gentian, holy basil, lobelia, luffa, pennyroyal, skullcap, spilanthes, stevia, thyme, & yarrow

Special events, internships, & more!

There is so much fun stuff coming up, we can't fit everything in our newsletter.  Stay tuned to our blog for the latest news & stories from our partners: 





April Sales, Freebies, & Featured Items


50% off Corian and Laminate Countertops
Take half off the marked price on used and new "orphan" countertops. (Sale does not include counters that are part of bathroom or kitchen cabinet sets, wood or granite countertops, items with missing or damaged price tags, or select specialty items.) 

50% off Wood Trim

Take half off the regular price on surplus and salvaged wood trim! (Sale does not include other wood décor, corbels, rosettes and plinths, items from our consignment partners, and select specialty items.)   

30% off Wood and Composite Columns 


Take 30% off the orange price tag on many of our architectural columns! (Sale does not include select specialty columns, other architectural pieces, items from our consignment partners, or columns with missing or damaged price tags.)

25% off CF Lighting

Take 25% off the marked price on most used and new CF lights. (Sale does not include ceiling fans, items with missing or damaged price tags, select specialty items, and items from our consignment partners.)


FREE Double-Paned and Vinyl Window Sashes

Standard vinyl sashes and insulated sashes are FREE while supplies last. Great for building cold frames for gardening! (Giveaway does not apply to vintage sashes, windows in frames, specialty shapes, door inserts, or other items) 



FREE Tires! 
Community Forklift has free tires available while supplies last.  Potatoes are really easy to grow, and if you don't have enough space in your garden, you can grow them in old tires!
 Click here to find out how!

National Plumber's Day, April 25

Plumbers and anyone with a plumbing-related business card can take 20% off of any CF materials on April 25th! (Sale is for one day only, and does not include items from our consignment partners.  Cannot be combined with other sales.) 


Featured Item: Joist Hangers
We've got a ton of joist hangers in our hardware department right now, in many sizes - check them out while supplies last!
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We hope to see you out at the warehouse soon!


Your friends at Community Forklift