An educator’s job isn’t always confined to within the school’s walls. Community School Coordinator Camille Hill and School Counselor Adrienne Smith understand that their school — Templeton Elementary School — is part of the larger community. When they noticed that some of their students were often absent and distracted, they met with the families and discovered that they lacked basic furnishings and other needs.

The school staff worked to find resources for these families and Community Forklift provided ottomans, lamps, a rug, two large sleeper sofas, and a coffee table. The essential items were provided through our Community Building Blocks program (CBB), which distributes free materials to local nonprofits, schools, and community groups.

One family of six had relocated from another state to escape an abusive situation. The parent worked long hours in low-paying jobs to help support the family. Often this meant that the eldest child helped take care of the younger siblings, including one who receives special education services. The family lived in a two-bedroom home without adequate resources such as food, clothing, furniture, and medical care. According to Adrienne, after addressing one missing resource at a time to support the family, they “noticed a change in the children’s growth — behaviorally, academically, and socially.”

Community Forklift Community Giving Coordinator Susana Salazar with Templeton Elementary School Community School Coordinator Camille Hill and School Counselor Adrienne Smith.

Another family was a refugee family of nine who were transitioning to life in America. When school staff members visited the family’s two-bedroom apartment to discuss one of the children’s medical and academic care, they discovered that the family did not have furniture and were sitting, sleeping, and eating on the floor. “We ensured the furniture we found at Community Forklift was culturally sensitive while respecting their customs,” said Adrienne.

Thank you to the Templeton Elementary School staff for its dedication to the community! As Adrienne encourages, “We ask you to promote respect, awareness, understanding, compassion, and sensitivity. We invite you to encourage others to engage in mental health support because everyone is impacted by something, and we as a nation will move forward with compassion.”


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.