Tools Can Build…

A really big bridge!

We love to brag on the blue tools and all the great things our member agencies and their incredibly dedicated volunteers can do. For this posting, let’s hear it straight from the park’s mouth! Check out the fun as our pals from Park Pride review thier incredible adventure at Jennie Drake Park. **Recap totally stolen from http://www.facebook.com/parkpride.

Blue Can Build…

Value of tool borrowed: $19,479
Cost to charitable agency: $705.46 Yep, all this for only $705.46!
Tools utilized: power drills and saws, shovels and spades, weed wrenched and McLeod tools, wheelbarrows, measuring tapes, hammers, sledgehammers, tarps, trashgrabbers, generators, work gloves, socket sets, folding tables and more…

Amazing Feats Accomplished: 

On Thursday, October 29th, 150 volunteers from Bennett Thrasher descended on Jennie Drake Park in the northwest Atlanta neighborhood of Collier Heights.

Jennie Drake Park was an undeveloped park (aside from the beautiful park entrance that was dedicated in May of this year, and the City of Atlanta park sign). There were a number of branch lined paths that meandered through the wooded greenspace, and neighborhood children liked to jump back and forth between the banks of the small creek that runs through the center.

On this Bennett Thrasher workday, however, the park was transformed! Volunteers installed 2 bridges to cross the creek, 2 benches built and installed, cleared land and installed plantings and created a new cobblestone park entrance, build a stone switchback path leading into the park, created about 750 of trail through the park (about 1/2 a raised gravel trail and the other half a mulch trail), and planted almost 400 native plants … WHEW!

It was quite a day and so much was accomplished! We’re proud to have been part of such a great partnership.

Thank you Friends of Jennie Drake Park for your passion for this space and for inviting us out for a transformative day.

Thank you Bennett Thrasher for your enthusiasm for hard-work, community and parks!

And thank you Councilmember Felicia Moore for the role you played in bringing this park to fruition and joining us as we turn the dream into reality!

We look forward to our next workday with you both.

We all invite you out to Jennie Drake Park to enjoy this amazing greenspace!

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Blue Tooled Gwinnett…

Your friendly tool lenders love supporting the annual Gwinnett Great Days of Service weekend. 2015 marked our 5th year staffing a 7-day temporary lending location in Lawrenceville, GA. Thanks to our sponsors Nordson Corporation Foundation and Maltbie Street Associates, truckloads of blue tools trucked up the highway to serve a diverse range of projects including: installation of birdhouses and specialty bat caves, school campus landscaping, community garden fencing, city cleanups, nonprofit pressure washing and more!

Impact At A Glance
18 projects sites tooled up.
672 volunteers equipped with ATL ToolBank tools.
90 service projects completed. Done. Finito!
Way too many smiles to count.

Katie Morris of The Gwinnett Daily Post enjoyed the weekend at Duluth’s Glancy Rehab Center – check out her recap below, along with great pics of the entire weekend! And, don’ t forget to CLICK NOW and keep even more volunteers working hard for us all.

Blue Tooled Gwinnett

DULUTH — With clear blue skies and plenty of sunshine, volunteer Patricia Parker said Friday morning was a lovely day to work in the garden.

Gwinnett Great Days“This was perfect weather,” Parker said. “It’s almost identical to last year.”

Parker was part of a group of volunteers from WEG Electric Corp., along with a few community volunteers, who got out their gardening gloves and went to work sprucing up the Glancy Rehabilitation Center gardens.

The project is one of hundreds taking place across the county Friday and Saturday during the 16th annual Gwinnett Great Days of Service. Organized by the Gwinnett Coalition for Health and Human Services, the two-day volunteer event benefits local nonprofit agencies that provide goods and services to community members struggling financially or emotionally.

This is the second year WEG Electric volunteers have donated their time to Glancy, a nonprofit rehabilitation center specializing in helping people with neurological and orthopedic impairments in Duluth. With the help of $150 in supplies donated by Buck Jones Nursery, volunteers pruned rose bushes, pulled up spring flowers and planted fall flowers, weeded gardening boxes and more.

Parker said it was great to return and see their work from last year, including a stone wall they built in the Glancy garden, as well as the familiar faces of the center’s staff. Mary Anne Lomma was also happy to return this year.

“The staff is just so welcoming and kind and seem excited to have volunteers,” Lomma said.

According to Kelly Dunham, Glancy Center’s Community Relations Coordinator, the nonprofit depends on the help, and the gardens play an important role in the patient’s rehabilitation. In addition to providing a therapeutic atmosphere, the gardens help patients re-learn gardening skills that they can carry with them when they leave, Dunham said.

Parker has become attached to the project over the past two years and plans to return to the facility in the spring with some of her co-workers to help with planting and maintenance.

“You feel like it becomes yours and you want to come back and help maintain what you started,” Parker said.

Gwinnett Great Days of Service 2015Gwinnett Great Days of Service 2015 4Gwinnett Great Daysof Service 2015 2

Ready to keep the blue tools serving across GA? DONATE NOW.

Meet The Tool Pro…

LorraineLombardiATLToolBank

From Left to Right: Facility Manger CJ Clark, Lorraine Lombardi and Ron Sargent proudly pose with newly constructed tool storage bins.

Facility maintenance pro by trade, world changer by spirit – Lorraine Lombardi is truly a renaissance woman. An impromptu day volunteering for a home repair agency in Atlanta over 8 years ago led to a love of using the blue tools and sustained commitment to the ToolBank cause.

“It’s a win-win,” she explains. “No other nonprofit helps so many people.”  Her service has included stints at the Tool Rush Sale, mega tool painting, warehouse remodeling at the new facility and now, post-retirement, she’s graciously co-managing the Atlanta ToolBank repair shop alongside fellow volunteer Ron “The Professor” Sargent.

Recognized as Volunteer of The Year in 2012, Lorraine is beloved by staff and volunteers for her contagious smile and can-do attitude. A resident of Decatur, GA she especially enjoys the ToolBank impact in her own backyard –  with 2 new community gardens, over 40 home repair projects and more than 15 community clean-ups completed in just the past 10 months!

Ready to keep even more volunteers working hard for us all? Click and Donate Now – every dollar given puts even more blue tools in volunteer hands. 

Transformative Collaboration…

When most of us talk about “tools for transformation” these days, we’re usually referring to software as a service or specific types of business or operational strategies. At the Atlanta Community ToolBank, we certainly use digital and conceptual “tools” to help us serve our clients. But our client touch point is physical tools. We are America’s largest tool-lending organization. We maintain an inventory of physical tools that we lend to other nonprofits to enable community-based service projects.

IBM Corporate Citizenship Managers Christian Schoen (center) and LaTjuan Dogan (right) receive Atlanta ToolBank’s Corporate Partner of the Year from Board Chairman Brad Sand

IBM Corporate Citizenship Managers Christian Schoen (center) and LaTjuan Dogan (right) receive Atlanta ToolBank’s Corporate Partner of the Year from Board Chairman Brad Sand

We began our partnership with IBM during their Centennial Celebration of Service in 2011. Since that time, IBM experts have helped us develop strategies for efficiency, growth and collaboration with other nonprofits so that we can continue to provide our essential service. IBM and the Atlanta ToolBank eventually entered into a partnership that involves an annual consulting grant to help us refine operations and expand our impact across Atlanta. This critical strategic “tool” has been made possible by an IBM Impact Grant.

The IBM Impact Grant, and skills-based volunteer service of IBM experts, has helped us with numerous key initiatives. Among them:

  • Development of a Technology Roadmap to help us identify short- and long-term strategies for the use of technology in serving our clients
  • Delivery of a three-year Strategic Plan for capacity growth
  • Creation of a digital marketing template for replication across our nationwide
    affiliate network

ToolBank relies on pro bono support for a wide range of services, and a standout feature of our partnership with IBM has been the attentiveness of their staff’s contributions to our efforts. IBMers always treat our staff as clients, not “beneficiaries.” And IBM consultants listen, collaborate, dig deep and deliver. To put it simply, when IBM says they will get something done, it gets done!

Atlanta ToolBank recently gave IBM our 2014 Corporate Partner of the Year Award in recognition of their tremendous and ongoing support of our organization and its mission. Since then, our lead IBM consultant addressed the 2015 National Tool Bank Summit on the importance of measuring qualitative as well as quantitative outcomes of service. With all nonprofits caught in the squeeze between increasing demands and diminishing resources, our relationship with IBM has been essential in helping us sustain an organization that enables so many others to serve.

Patty Russart is Executive Director of the Atlanta ToolBank. IBM Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs Managers Tjuan Dogan and Christian Schoen manage the relationship and provide consulting services to Atlanta ToolBank, where Mr. Schoen also serves on the Board of Directors.

 Article reposted courtesy of CitizenIBM.com

What Does It Take….

To build a community garden? Watch Revive Atlanta in action, putting $1,710 worth of blue tools to work. Teachable moments and community building abound – and, the best part? They did it all for only $51.40 That’s the #PowerOfToolBank!

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So, what’s the big deal with urban gardening anyway? A big fat multiplier effect, that’s what! Consider this:

THE BLUE TOOLS WORK: On average, ToolBank tools support the construction and ongoing care of 18 full-scale ATL community gardens each and every year. What tool do you think our urban farmers check out most? HINT: Your hands love them…

YOUR KIDS GET BETTER: The CDC reports – nationally, community gardens decrease rates of childhood asthma and lead poisoning by increasing consumption of fresh produce and increased natural immunities to yucky stuff like local pollen types. Anything that fights the yellow and green works for us!

OUR WATER STAYS CLEANER: Community gardens filter our rainwater, working to help lakes, rivers and our groundwater stay crisp and clean.

THE EARTH STAYS GREEN: Local community gardens recycle massive amounts of grass clippings, tree trimmings and all kinds of organic waste. And – it all goes right back into the soil. Circle of life, ToolBank Style!

HUNGER DECREASES: Literally thousands of pounds of fresh produce grown from local community gardens of all sizes are donated to food pantries and hunger alleviation services across Georgia MONTHLY. Yes, not yearly – we said MONTHLY people!

BOTTOM LINE EFFECTIVE: Urban agriculture is 3-5 times more productive per acre than traditional farming. Dang, us city folk do know a thing or two…

WE ALL BENEFIT: Prettier green space, reduced crime rates in lower income areas, stress reduction and improved property values are all directly linked to the establishment of community gardens. And, that effect only increases over time. Well managed community gardens are the centerpiece of thriving neighborhoods in Atlanta’s inner city and a huge piece of the revitalization efforts underway right now in places like Vine City. No matter where you hang your hat, stronger neighborhoods mean economic growth and decreased crime across the board for greater Atlanta.

Cocktails and Ladders - FINAL-FINAL-3-13-2015-convertedSo now you know – community gardens make life better for us all! Ready to harvest? Simply click NOW to buy Cocktails and Ladders tickets, and keep the blue tools gardening away!

This Thursday, Celebrate Live!

GAGives2014Have you heard our state’s biggest day of charitable giving is this Thursday!? GA Gives Day is all about the chance to Give Where You Live. A call to action for every citizen to support those local nonprofits close to their hearts. It super-easy to search GAGives.org to find your perfect fit and every dollar makes an impact. This year, we hope you’ll include Atlanta Community ToolBank on your donation list. As the ONE nonprofit literally supporting EVERY cause you care about, we pledge to leverage your kind gift to the fullest, ensuring local volunteers are equipped to clean your parks, shelter vulnerable neighbors, improve schools and so much more. In fact, every dollar you give will be matched, up to $3,600, by our generous Board Director’s Challenge! And the fun doesn’t stop there…

Celebrate GA Gives Day Live!

Love retro-style carnival games? How about unique prizes? Want to shop the remaining Tool Rush sale inventory?

Have it all, baby! ToolBank’s hosting a GA Gives Day Fun-House:

Celebrate GA Gives Day live at the ToolBank’s open warehouse event. We’ll enjoy yummy snacks, fun games and shop all those Tool Rush goodies – hundreds of tools and supplies, all priced 50% off standard retail. Special perks await donors who round-up purchases with a gift of $20 or more!
ToolRushWear your best carnival attire for even more surprise gifts.
 
ToolBank’s GA Gives Day Fun-House
Date: Thursday, November 13, 2014
Time:  Drop-in between 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Location: 410 Englewood Road SE *Atlanta, GA 30315
***Registration not required. Free and open to the public, but this is a FUNdraiser. Donations will be encouraged!