Mid-November 2013
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Are you coming to Green Friday & Small Business Saturday?
Green Gift Fair is in Full Swing!!
FREE Workshops & Demonstrations by Local Artists
Celebrate our 8th Birthday!
Now Hiring
Wow! Digital Wood Sculptures Turn Heads at Green Gift Fair
Nifty November Sales

As the days get colder, perhaps you're wrapping up your biggest home improvement projects.  But don't worry - you still have an excuse to visit your favorite warehouse.
Stop by to check out our 5th annual Green Gift Fair!  We've got 35 local artists consigning their beautiful artwork with us, and on the weekends we have lots of fun demonstrations & hands-on workshops.  
In the days after Thanksgiving, we've got even more fun in store during our Green Friday & Small Business Saturday celebrations.  Hope to see you there!

Please note - We apologize, but this Saturday's workshop on creating art from recycled calendars has been cancelled.  Unfortunately, the presenter is not able to make it on Sat. 11/16 - but we will let you know if it is rescheduled. 

Read on for all the latest news!


What are you doing after Thanksgiving?


Don't you hate Black Friday? Fighting the crowds, spending more than you'd planned, waiting in endless lines, then hauling home more clutter and plastic junk - is that really the smartest way to spend your long weekend?  


We've got a better idea!  


green friday

small business saturday 

On Nov. 29 & 30,
  celebrate GREEN Friday and Small
Business Saturday at Community Forklift! 

Help us decorate the Forklift's tree and enjoy some time with family and friends. We've got all sorts of good stuff going on!  



FREE workshops

  We'll have a variety of FREE workshops to help you create your own eco-friendly gifts for the season! 

Learn how to make jewelry, woodcrafts, recycled paper gifts, and more!




We've invited local musicians to "carol" throughout the warehouse all weekend long. Join them in singing holiday tunes, or just relax with a cup of hot cider and enjoy the music.


Make some gifts! 


Forklift Fans of all ages can make gift wrap, ornaments, and decorations for the holiday season!


Yummy Treats 


Local bakers will be here with their best holiday treats! We also will have free coffee, cider and tea to keep you warm and cozy. 





Our 5th Annual Green Gift Fair  

is in Full Swing!




Open Daily through 
November and December!



  • Metalwork 
  • Jewelry
  • Textiles and Clothing
  • Eco-friendly Beauty Care
  • Stained Glass Mosaics 
  • Holiday crafts
  • Stationery and Cards 
  • Woodcraft
  • Soaps and Candles 
  • Toys and Baby Gear
  • Housewares
  • and many more!  



We've gathered dozens of the area's most creative artists and crafters to exhibit at our Green Gift Fair.  All gifts are made with reclaimed, refurbished, or other eco-friendly materials!    


And keep an eye on our calendar in the coming weeks -- many artists will be offering free how-to workshops and demonstrations!


Forklift Fan Charles looking dapper in a scarf from Upcycle Joy





Saturday Nov. 23:  1pm
Presented by Kim S. Joy  

 Kim S. Joy will demonstrate how to cut glass - and she'll have glass cutters so you can try it yourself!  She will bring her beautiful stained glass jewelry in different stages of completion to show how stained glass is made and a repair to work on.


Sunday Nov. 24:  1pm
Presented by Isabel Smith, Madeline Santiago, & Elva Rosario of Marizab's Treasures 
Learn how to make jewelry using wire, washers and nails and other reclaimed items. You may bring your own tools and items that you may want to include in your jewelry piece!


On Sat. Nov. 16, we will NOT be holding:


More workshops to come!
Please check our calendar often for updates!

Community Forklift Turns 8!



We opened our doors back in November 17, 2005, and thanks to all of you wonderful Forklift Fans, our operation quickly began turning the region's waste into a valuable resource stream.  


Your support has made a real difference over the last 8 years: 


* Countless households and small businesses have been able to afford repairs.


*  We've been able to donate over $100,000 of materials directly to nonprofits and families in need!  


*  By reusing existing materials, you've lowered demand for natural resources, and reduced pollution from harvesting, mining, manufacturing, and shipping new products. 


*  We've created 40 green jobs!  Not only that, but the low-cost materials have allowed thousands of tradespeople to attract clients even during tough economic times.



We'll be celebrating our 8th Birthday on Sunday, Nov. 17th with a cake and hot apple cider.  
We hope you'll drop by and share your stories - what was it like when you first came here? What projects have you built with 'Lift materials?  Also...
Please consider giving 
a birthday gift of $8, $80, or more. 
Your financial support will help us continue our work in the years to come! With your gift, we can keep lifting up local communities, creating green jobs, making repairs affordable, and providing public education about reuse and sustainable living.  

To make a secure online, tax-deductible donation, click the button below to donate through Paypal, major credit card, or directly from your bank account.

OR, you can write a check.  Please make it out to Sustainable Community Initiatives, and write "Community Forklift" in the memo line.  Checks should be mailed to:  Community Forklift, 4671 Tanglewood Drive, Edmonston MD, 20781.  Please call Nancy Meyer, our Chief Operating Officer, at 301-985-5180 with any questions or concerns.  Thanks so much!


 Now hiring! 

Community Forklift is seeking an experienced Office Manager to work full-time. The Office Manager will be primarily responsible for the general oversight and management of the overall office administration, human relations and bookkeeping functions for an organization with more than 40 full-time, part-time and on-call employees. This is not an entry-level position, only qualified applicants will be considered. 
Truck Driver  
Community Forklift is seeking a full-time Truck Driver. This person will represent the organization by picking up used and surplus building materials in the DC area. Responsibilities include driving our 24-foot box truck with manual transmission. A Commercial Driver's License (CDL) is preferred. All applicants must have an excellent driving record, relevant driving experience and a current Maryland Department of Transportation medical card. If you do not have medical card, you will need a physical before you begin. Prior related driving experience is required!   

 Wow! Digital 3-D Wood Sculptures Turn Heads at Green Gift Fair  


Alluring sculptures that Kyle Bendle, pictured here, creates with fellow artist Brad Bolte are part of this year's Green Gift Fair at Community Forklift. The fair lasts through Dec. 29.

By Elizabeth McGowan 


Just how do they do that?


That's a familiar six-word question for Brad Bolte and Kyle Bendle. And the Washington, D.C.-based artists know it will be on the tip of the tongue of anybody spying their alluring wood sculptures at this holiday season's Green Gift Fair at Community Forklift.


The duo's answer? Teamwork. And an incredible amount of patience and experimentation.


For starters, Bendle sketches his intricate and original designs on paper before using specialized software to digitize them in three dimensions. Then, Bolte painstakingly transfers each point of that "blueprint" to the software that signals the inanimate member of their joint venture - the CNC, which is short for computer numerically controlled mill - how exactly to transfer that complex image to a block of wood.


The mill is basically a router on steroids. But its trio of axes - good ol' x, y and z for those who remember their trigonometry - aren't magic. First, Bolte has to fit the machine with the right series of carbide bits to carve out the three-dimensional curves first envisioned in Bendle's head. Bolte starts with a rough cut and refines it until reaching the desired effect.  


What finally emerges is mesmerizing. The abstract and pleasing results are what you might expect to see if Cubists wielded drill bits instead of paintbrushes.  


Raised patterns hewed into chunks of reclaimed maple, Douglas fir, oak, black walnut, cherry and mahogany vaguely resemble a topographical map. Some conjure up landscapes as diverse as the eroded Badlands of South Dakota, the layered sands of the Sahara Desert or the braided strands of the McKinley River in Alaska. But use your imagination. Others might be tornadoes, wind-whipped snowdrifts or a troupe of supple dancers in motion.  

The two Playshop entrepreneurs use bits of all shapes and sizes to craft their three-dimensional wood sculptures.

Exposing the wood's innards causes the wood's grain patterns to really pop. That texture, enhanced with a light coating of polyurethane, invites observers to employ their eyes, hands and brains. They can't help themselves.


"You can't just look, you have to engage," Bolte says, adding that art is supposed to make people think. "These pieces offer a different kind of connection to the physical world."




"Designing cool stuff makes us excited," Bendle chimes in. "We're chasing fun."


Artists Kyle Bendle, left, and Brad Bolte journeyed to Baton Rouge, La., last spring to pick up a second-hand computer numerically controlled mill that is the centerpiece of their Playshop studio.

Their version of what might be called super-advanced whittling in the computer age takes place in a two-car garage in a Glover Park alley. At the beginning of the year, they converted it into a space they've christened Playshop, the anti-workshop for this pair of adventurous, curious and talented 20-somethings. This art and design studio with a focus on digital fabrication is where they also craft offbeat signs, furniture and an ever-expanding inventory of other eclectic items. Trial and error and not fearing failure, they say, are their best teachers.


Much of the wood, including every piece they are selling at the Green Gift Fair, is harvested at the Forklift because it fits with the pair's upcycling ethic.  


Bolte discovered the Forklift during one of his deep-dive online research sessions-and bookmarked the Web site after reading about the 34,000-square foot warehouse loaded with affordable and one-of-a-kind materials.


"When we first walked in, we were like, 'Yes!'" Bendle says. "We dove in like it was a pool."


Nifty November Sales


50% Off Brick Veneer Mantels
Take half off the marked price on our surplus MDF/Brick Veneer fireplace mantels this month! (Sale does not include wood or stone mantels, select specialty items, or items from our consignment partners.)

Half Price Doors of $30 or Less

Take half off the regular price on all bifold and house doors marked at $30 or less. (Sale does not apply to doors over $30, doors with missing or damaged price tags, or select specialty items.)  

50% off Roof Trusses 


Take half off of the regular price on roof trusses tagged at $35 to $95.  Great for a lean-to, cold frame, or to take apart to use the 2x4 lumber! (Sale does not include other roof parts, other lumber, or items with missing or damaged price tags.)  

50% off Salvaged Bathroom Sinks

Take half off of the marked price on salvaged/used bathroom sinks! (Sale does not include bathroom vanity sets, kitchen or utility sinks, or items with missing or damaged price tags.)
Tuesday, November 19 is World Toilet Day!

This international day of action aims to break the taboo around toilets and draw attention to the global sanitation challenge. See for details.

Half-price toilet sale at Community Forklift, one day only! (Sale does not include select specialty items.)
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Hope to see you around the warehouse soon!


Your friends at Community Forklift