Industry: Salvaged & green building material home improvement store
Address: 4671 Tanglewood Drive, Edmonston, MD 20781
Community Forklift lifts up local communities by making repairs affordable, reducing waste, promoting reuse, and creating green jobs. Community Forklift is a nonprofit reuse center for home improvement supplies which picks up donations of unwanted and salvaged building materials. The organization then makes them available to the public at low cost and provides vintage materials for restoring old homes.
THEIR STORY –
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.
But the idea might not have gotten off the ground if not for Wacif. 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 45 green jobs and kept over $12 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.
“Wacif saw our vision and provided capital and other kinds of business support for us,” said Community Forklift Chief Executive Officer Nancy Meyer.