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Sharing the Wealth: Forklift Gifts are a Boon for Christmas in April "Elves"
Free Beekeeping Workshop this weekend
Green Home, LLC seeking partners/managers
Better Block Project is Almost Here!
Where in the World is Community Forklift's Outreach Team?
Amazing April Sales

Dear Forklift Fans -
You've done it again!  

With your outpouring of support and feedback to the Washington City Paper, Community Forklift was voted DC's Best Green Business of 2014!! This is an incredible honor, and we are so grateful for those of you who put the Community in our Forklift.  

We've always appreciated being seen as a useful hardware store (we were named City Paper's Best Hardware Store in 2012 and Best Home Goods Store in 2011), but we aspire to be so much more... and being recognized as "Best Green Business" is a testament that we are doing just that!

However, we still have a whole lot of work to do. As newly-recognized leaders of green industry, we carry a responsibility that we don't take lightly.

To achieve this vision of leadership and environmental stewardship, we need you to guide us!  If you have ideas for making Community Forklift a better place, please let us know.

By giving us the feedback we need to grow stronger as an institution, you are helping to build the reuse movement that is growing in our region and across the country!

Remember, we wouldn't be here lifting up communities without you! 

Sharing the Wealth:

Forklift Gifts are a Boon for Christmas in April "Elves"


By Elizabeth McGowan



Walt Poliansky refers to himself as simply a carpenter.


To Mary Kucharski, however, he's one of the hundreds of talented and industrious elves who continue to make the Prince George's County version of Christmas in April a roaring success. Poliansky and Santa's other envoys will be at it again on April 26 tackling a bevy of home improvement projects for the needy at 83 houses from Laurel to Fort Washington.


Veteran Christmas in April volunteer Walt Poliansky is once again serving as a house captain. Poliansky, a carpenter, and fellow volunteer Miguel Rodriguez, a plumber, check out supplies in the Upper Marlboro warehouse before the April 26 event. 


"You meet the most wonderful people through this organization," says Kucharski, the longtime executive director of the April-themed nonprofit. "We're fortunate to have all of these givers. If we weren't here to help all of these people, who would?"


Poliansky, who retired nine years ago as a chief master sergeant at Joint Base Andrews, says he linked with Kucharski several decades ago as a way for the military to forge a partnership with a nonprofit in its own back yard. He has volunteered 20 times since Christmas in April was launched in 1989.


"Christmas in April means family fellowship," Poliansky says about the event that always occurs on the last Saturday in April. "It's about spreading the wealth and sharing your talents with those less fortunate than you."


And he's well aware that this one-day charitable event requires months of planning. In January, he learned he would serve as a house captain for a home owned by an elderly couple in Hillcrest Heights. That means he has spent the last several months honing a checklist of the tradespeople and supplies he will need for the big day in April. Some resources are already stockpiled in the nonprofit's ship-shape warehouse in Upper Marlboro that once served as the county jail.


Like other house captains, Poliansky is planning a trip to Community Forklift to ferret out some of the appliances, cabinets, bathroom fixtures and other building materials that his crew of at least four dozen workers will need.


"Access to the Forklift gives Christmas in April an expanded opportunity to do more with our limited resources," Poliansky says. "You can't beat the prices you have in your warehouse. And who is going to turn down free money?"


Community Forklift has offered a total of $6,000 worth of building materials to Poliansky and his fellow house captains this year. This outreach is part of the Forklift's mission to share its resources with local nonprofits also focused on lifting up communities. Other recipients of the Forklift's generosity - which added up to $24,543 during 2013 - have included 136 schools, civic organizations, public art projects, playgrounds, camps, community gardens and theater groups.

Mary Kucharski, executive director, and Judith Roales, volunteer coordinator, work together at the Christmas in April of Prince George's County headquarters in Clinton. The nonprofit, which has fixed up more than 2,300 homes, is celebrating its 25th anniversary.

When the Forklift opened more than eight years ago, "we made an instant connection," says Kucharski, who jokes that her title should be professional beggar because she's always asking for something from somebody. "We have solidarity because we're both in the business of trying to help people. That's what makes us such good resources for one another."


A careful inventory of the one-story house in Hillcrest Heights revealed that Poliansky and his team will be using every minute of daylight on April 26 to tile the basement floor, replace the soffits along the front of the roof overhang, reconnect the gutters, install new windows, haul away a dilapidated shed and build a ramp that can accommodate a wheelchair.


Poliansky and his right-hand man, Miguel Rodriguez, got a jump-start on their assignment by arranging for a certified company to remove asbestos tiles from the basement. Rodriguez is a plumber and master sergeant who befriended Poliansky at Joint Base Andrews.


Often, Rodriguez says, the houses selected for attention from Christmas in April are owned by senior citizens who are no longer mobile enough to keep up with repairs and updates. Their "to do" list has become too daunting for younger relatives lacking the required skills.


"Before our crew arrives, the amount of work can look overwhelming," notes Rodriguez, who has been involved with Christmas in April for 14 years. "But as we move from task to task, families come to understand that something that seemed unattainable can be achievable one project at a time.


"Part of what we're doing is educating," he continues, adding that adult children of the homeowners frequently pitch in on the day of the event and learn about basic maintenance and upkeep.


Over the last 26 years, close to 78,000 Christmas in April volunteers have offered their expertise to rehabilitate 2,338 homes across Prince George's County. This year, Poliansky and Rodriguez will be among the 3,200 volunteers answering the call.


Time never drags, Rodriguez says, because so many of the carpenters, painters, roofers, plumbers, general contractors and other tradespeople are repeat participants who have developed a unique camaraderie.


"It's a bond of kindness," he says. "We never run out of stories."

The annual gathering is literally a family reunion for Poliansky, a New Jersey native. Several years ago, his brother-in-law drove down from the Garden State to help. This year he's expecting at least tool-wielding 10 relatives to show up.


"Christmas in April allows us to serve our community," Rodriguez says. "It's our way of not only touching families in need but also of giving them hope they might not have known existed."


  Find out more about Christmas in April of Prince George's County at
 or by calling (301) 868-0937.
Pic of vintage finger pointingThe organization is always seeking donations, and is in constant need of skilled tradespeople for its signature event.

FREE Workshop:
Respectful, Chemical-Free Beekeeping

April 19th, 2pm

Location: Community Forklift 
Presenter: Stefano Briguglio 
Organization: Azure B LLC 
Stefano Briguglio will provide an overview of the basics - the bees, the lingo, the equipment, and the details of how to get started. You will leave the workshop with a sense of the responsibilities involved in caring for honeybees, what to expect throughout the year, and a good sense of whether beekeeping is a good fit for you!

After years in the organic pet food and grocery industry, Stefano escaped the city and bought a tiny farm in Marbury, MD with the dream of becoming a self-taught farmer. Quite by accident, he developed a mutual fondness with honeybees and has cared for the ladies every since.

When he is not spreading the word of the respectful, chemical free revolution in beekeeping, he is loving on his family, brewing bio-diesel, or tending to one the million chores required to run even the tiniest of farms. 
Community Connection

From our friends at Green Home, LLC: 





Green Home LLC, a leader in green renovation and remodeling since 2001, is looking for active partners/ managers in Sales and Field Operations.

This is a unique equity investment opportunity for folks with the entrepreneurial spirit, willing and able to form a team to bring Green Home to the next level in Home Improvement.

In its thirteen years of doing business, Green Home has developed an excellent track record. Anyone coming into this company will have access to everything needed to take the company forward: excellent qualified leads, tools and equipment, valid MHIC license, insurance, and best of all, a sterling reputation with homeowners in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC. We have been a market leader for green remodels, and are Green America and NAHB Green Professional certified.

After a five-year slump, remodeling is finally on a long overdue upswing. 2014 is a great time to get into the DC Metro area Home Improvement market. If you have management and home improvement skills, and are ready to take advantage of this great opportunity to be on the cutting edge of green remodeling - unquestionably the wave of the future! - get in touch right away!


Call Brian Higgins at 202 -674- 3826 , or shoot an email to [email protected] for pricing, references, and further information.

Supporting our Port Towns Youth

We are honored to partner with the Port Towns Youth Council to lift up young people in our community. 

If you visited the 'Lift last summer, you may have met Demilade & Rony, two local high-school students who served as our 2013 Green Business Apprentices. Or, maybe you happened by the "Walkers Wear White" rally and parade down Bladensburg Road last July.  Our apprentices and other young citizens in the Port Towns pulled off a huge event to educate and advocate for pedestrian safety.

We are so proud that our hard-working apprentices will be graduating this year, heading off great colleges and bright futures!  Please join us in investing in Demilade, Rony, and their peers, by supporting their college educations through the annual Port Towns Youth Council graduation celebration.

(Need more convincing that these local students are worth your investment?  Visit to  learn more about the tremendous contributions these youth have already made to our local community).    
Upcoming Community Events 



It's almost here!  


Better Block Night returns to Mount Rainier, MD with a juicy line-up of fun, free, family friendly events to get you out and about walking the streets of this incredible community. Many local businesses will be keeping their doors open late and offering up some tantalizing specials for one night only.


Local artists from around the Gateway Arts District will be popping up in front of Mount Rainier City Hall, around the Mount Rainier Circle, and even in a campaign office throughout the evening. Check out our list of events below, and remember, it's not to late to get involved!  


Email or call Neena at neena(at) or 301-699-1819 to see how you can be a part of Better Block Night 2014!


Lesole's Dance Project: 6 - 10 pm
3802 34th St, Mt Rainier, MD 20712


Join Lesole's Dance Project for an evening worth of dance and drumming. Workshops will be held at 6:30 pm and 7:15pm to teach community members African dance and drum basics to put into action during an 8:30 pm parade. An after party starts at 9 showcasing the beautiful new storefront improvements of this incredible local gem. 


Kenny George and Patrick McDonough: 6 - 8 pm
3310-3378 Rhode Island Ave, Mount Rainier, MD 20712


Art and gardening mix beautiful in a temporary installation of reincarnated planters with chard and hops and window treatments on the vacant building at the corner of Perry Street and Rhode Island Avenue. View Kenny' s Mount Rainier Sears Home-inspired beer labels and Patrick's chard planters. Then head over to Urban Eats to taste local brews. 


Krista Schlyer's Ecology: 6- 10 pm
4213 34th St. Mount Rainier, MD 20712


Join Schlyer and host MD State Delegate Candidate Jimmy Tarlau in his campaign office for an exhibit of images and photo collages designed to help viewers see and know the Anacostia River that runs through the very heart of our communities. This pop-up exhibit evokes consciousness of time and place as it is felt in the watershed, the seasons of life, from summer, winter, spring and fall, to the seasons of vitality, abuse, neglect, and recovery. Light refreshments will be served. 


BOOMscat Powers Hoop Jam: 7 - 8:30 pm
1 Municipal Pl, Mt Rainier, MD 20712


The Peace and Body Roll Duo of BOOMscat and hula hooping star Noelle Powers pair up for a jam session at City Hall Plaza. Stop by early for core building lessons in hooping and stay to experience how music should always be enjoyed, through movement. and 


Community Forklift: 6 - 8pm
Corner of Rhode Island Avenue and Perry Street West


Family-friendly craft table will have reclaimed items to make new treasures.

Please visit the Art Lives Here blog for full list of activities!

Where in the World is the Forklift's Outreach Team?

With Earth day just around the corner, Community Forklift's Outreach team is paying a visit to many of its friends in the DMV area to educate folks and promote reuse. Here's where you'll find us over the next few weeks - stop by and say hello!


Saturday April 19th, 10am-2pm
Mt. Rainier Nature & Recreation Center MD - 4701 31st Pl, Mt Rainier, MD 20712 


"Spring Greening Fair is a free community event for residents and families to learn and promote sustainable and green living while saving money and having fun. It features: workshops on pollinators, gardening, rain barrels, tree maintenance and more. Also, green products and services, sales of repurposed arts and crafts, games and other family activities!
All Ages are welcome. FREE" 



Fort Meade Earth Day  

Wednesday April 23rd, 10am-2pm
Fort Meade, MD 20755 (this is the actual address)  

Earth Day celebration with local green businesses:  "It's attended by the Fort Meade community - soldiers, families, school students, civilian workforce and is also open to the public."



Friday April 25th, 6pm-10pm
1 Municipal Pl, Mt Rainier, MD 20712 


See article above for details - it will be a really fun evening event! 




Metro Area Hunger Conference 

Friday April 25th, 9am-3pm
4900 Puerto Rico Ave NE, Washington, DC 20017 


"The 2014 Capital Area Food Bank Hunger Summit will bring together community leaders, public health professionals, and hunger advocates to discuss the relationship between food and health and how we can better serve our community."    



ACE Green Living Expo  

Saturday April 26th, 10am-4pm
Mason Arlington Campus, Founders Hall, 3351 N Fairfax Dr, Arlington, VA 22201 


"The 5th Annual Green Living Expo is the place to be to learn practical ways to green your lifestyle, with a focus on arts and culture, energy conservation, eco-friendly transportation, green home design and remodeling, sustainable yards and garden and sustainable living"  



2014 DC-NoVA-MD Green School Summit   

Saturday April 26th
Cardozo Senior High School 

1200 Clifton St NW, Washington, DC 20009 


"The U.S. Green Building Council - National Capital Region and Maryland Chapters are planning the second annual DC NoVA MD Green School Summit for April 2014. The theme of this year's summit is The Intersection of STEM and Sustainability. This unique event will once again bring together building professionals and K-12 school personnel to share best practices related to sustainable schools."  



Sunday April 27th, 10am-4pm
Carroll Ave & Grant Ave, Takoma Park, MD 20912 


This free community event will feature a Green Solutions Fair, Family-Friendly Activities, Live Music Performances, Native Plant Sale, Local Food Trucks and a Free Public Trolley until 3pm!


Check out all of our specials on bathroom fixtures!

Managers Special: 50% Off  

Pink-Tag Tubs and Sinks in the Yard, while supplies last 


Look for the pink stickers, to save 50% on many sinks and tubs in our courtyard (Sale does not include select vintage or specialty items, sinks and tubs that are displayed inside our warehouse, items from our consignment partners, or items with missing or damaged price tags).


Toilets & Wall-Mounted Sinks

20% - 50%


Take 50% off the price tags on all salvaged white toilets & salvaged white wall-mounted bathroom sinks.  Take 20% off the price tag on all other toilets and wall-mounted bathroom sinks.  This SALE INCLUDES VINTAGE toilets, wall-mounted sinks, and toilet-sink sets!!!  (Sale does not include items from our consignment partners, select specialty items, or items with missing or damaged tags)


50% off All Urinals & Bidets


Take 50% off the price tags on all urinals and bidets.   Sale does not include items from our consignment partners, or items with missing or damaged tags.


20% Off Bathroom Vanity Sets and Medicine Cabinets


Take 20% off the orange tags on bathroom vanities, vanity sets, sinks for bathroom vanities, and medicine cabinets (Sale does not include items from our consignment partners, items with blue tags, select specialty items, or items with missing or damaged tags).

20% Off Pedestal Sinks


Take 20% off the price tags on bathroom pedestal sinks (Sale does not include items from our consignment partners, select specialty items, or items with missing or damaged tags).



30% Off Lighting


Take 30% off the orange tags on most light fixtures.  Sale includes a large variety of chandeliers; flush mounted ceiling and wall fixtures, patio lights, lamps and fluorescent fixtures (Sale does not include vintage and specialty items, items with blue tags, items from our consignment partners, or items with missing or damaged tags).


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See you at the warehouse soon! 

Your friends at the Forklift