Today Community Forklift lives by the tagline: “Turning the waste stream into a resource stream for local communities.”
The Maryland-based surplus, salvage and green building material home improvement store sells new and used materials priced significantly below retail.
The idea for Community Forklift had its genesis at the Sustainable Community Initiative, a District of Columbia-based nonprofit corporation that incubates and facilitates the growth of social enterprises and public education programs that promote local values creation and investment.
Nancy Meyer (second from right) and her team have helped keep over $30 million worth of materials out of landfills
But the idea might not have gotten off the ground if not for Wacif. Over ten years ago Wacif gave the organization a $200,000 loan to help fund the then start-up. Then in 2012, Wacif gave Community Forklift another $25,000 loan to purchase a truck to support its growing warehouse business.
The return on Wacif’s investment has been self-evident. Community Forklift has created 50 green jobs and kept over $30 million of materials from being dumped in landfills or incinerators. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of our community members are able to affordably repair their homes.
The money and hard work has paid off in more ways than one. Community Forklift has been recognized as a “Best Home Goods Store” in the Washington City Paper and “Best Hardware/DIY” in the Washington Post Express, as well as receiving other awards.
“Wacif saw our vision and provided capital and other kinds of business support for us,” said Community Forklift Chief Executive Officer Nancy Meyer.