August 13, 2020

Part of Community Forklift’s mission is to provide free and low-cost essential home repair supplies and home furnishings to the community. Through the Home Essentials Program (HELP), we distribute free building materials, fixtures, appliances, and furniture to neighbors with low incomes. We are proud to announce that we’ve provided $26,489.01 in materials in the first half of this year!

The HELP program is a low-barrier service, meaning we try to keep our grants as accessible and flexible as possible. We assist seniors, families, people with disabilities, veterans, people going through crisis or transitioning from homelessness, people who are struggling to afford repairs on the family home, and people who are working to make their homes safer and more comfortable.

“I appreciate you! I don’t have to be stressed out anymore when washing clothes by hand or going to the Laundromat. Thank you for the washer and dryer.”

HELP program client Ms. B, a 65-year-old senior that relies on oxygen.

Home Essentials grant recipients hear about our program through neighbors, government agencies, and caseworkers, among other ways. A social worker from Children’s National Hospital referred a 28-year-old mother of four living in Prince George’s County. Ms. M was in urgent need of a mini-fridge to store medical supplies for her baby with special care needs. Community Forklift was able to provide one before the baby was discharged. The social worker shared that she has stayed closely in touch with Ms. M and the appliance is working great!

“With the generous help from the Home Essentials Program, my client was able to receive a free mini-fridge. This is an appliance that is not covered by health insurance, but is necessary to safely store the special medical supplies her daughter needs at home. Accessing this assistance from the Home Essentials Program was an important part of facilitating the very first discharge home after my client’s daughter had spent months in the hospital. We are both grateful! Again and as always, thank you!!”

A licensed independent clinical social worker at Iona Senior Services referred Ms. W, an 87-year-old senior suffering from advanced dementia and Parkinson’s. Community Forklift was able to provide Ms. W with a working refrigerator when hers failed.

“It is so helpful to have a refrigerator again,” said Ms. W’s daughter, who is also her caretaker. “Thanks to [Community Forklift] for making it happen. There are so many challenges in each week. It is greatly appreciated that refrigeration is no longer one of them. God bless each of you!”

We also worked with a case manager from Friendship Place who put in a referral for The W family. The father of this family of seven is a veteran and he and several of his children suffer from asthma. Their home was not air conditioned and was so unbearably hot this summer that the children were sent to live with other family members.

Fortunately, Community Forklift was able to provide them with a window AC unit. Their case manager said, “they’re so happy to finally have some relief from the heat. I can’t tell you how appreciative that I am for all of your help!”

These are just a few of the people that Community Forklift has been able to assist during this time of economic instability. We look forward to helping more neighbors in need during the pandemic and beyond. You can help us with that goal by making a tax-deductible donation to Community Forklift today. Thank you for the support!


Every time you donate or shop at Community Forklift, you’re helping us lift up local communities through reuse.  We turn the construction waste stream into a resource stream for communities in the DC region – by keeping perfectly good items out of the landfill, preserving historical materials, providing low-cost building supplies, and creating local green jobs.