Heart for Fire Prevention…

Red Cross Tool Load OutWith a goal to install 6,500 new fire alarms across Georgia by July 1, 2016, the Atlanta Red Cross knew exactly who to call – your favorite, friendly tool lenders!

The Home Fire Prevention Campaign is a nation-wide Red Cross effort to educate communities about fire safety, install smoke detectors, and practice fire drills. And, thanks to a partnership with our national headquarters, ToolBank USA, every ToolBank affiliate across the country is collaborating to ensure their local Red Cross can equip volunteers with ample safety gear and the tools needed to get the jobs done right.

This Valentine’s weekend, your Atlanta Community ToolBank kicked off the fun with a big tool load-out of drills and ladders to help install almost 300 new fire alarms in homes across Decatur’s Battle Forest neighborhood.

In 2015 alone, The Red Cross responded to 1,643 home fires across metro Atlanta, resulting in 1,128 residents needing immediate relocation and support services. With 420 of those fires occurring in Dekalb County, volunteers were eager to install new smoke detectors and provide replacement batteries, in addition to great safety plan tips.

The ambitious prevention campaign aims to reduce home fires by 25% and safety events are scheduled through the Fall. Volunteers are still needed to help install fire alarms, complete fire safety checklists and help families develop evacuation plans.

So, come on! Put some ATL ToolBank tools to great use as a Red Cross volunteer.  Sign up for an event date listed below by contacting  shana.lightfoot@redcross.org.

Home Fire Prevention Volunteer Dates

  • February 13, 2016 – DeKalb – COMPLETED with ToolBank tools in hand!
  • February 27, 2016 – DeKalb
  • March 5, 2016 – Cherokee
  • March 12, 2016 – Rockdale
  • March 19, 2016 – Gwinnett
  • March 19, 2016 – Fulton

Help even more volunteers support the causes you care about!
Click to DONATE NOW. 

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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. 

SunTrust Volunteers #ShineOn…

SunTrustDespite the rain, Team ToolBank was able to #ShineOn brighter than ever, thanks to a big helping hand from our friends at SunTrust. An energetic team of 39 volunteers stormed the warehouse, eager to fix tools, repair walls, bracket much needed new shelving, deconstruct an entire wooden stage no longer fit for use, and repurpose the stage wood for new shelving. Whew!

The group, comprised of interns and brand new SunTrust employees from across the Southeast, are enjoying a week of team building and camaraderie, serving and living  the SunTrust mission and brand promise of helping people and institutions prosper to life.

A core element of that mission involves actively supporting the developmental goals and civic initiatives of the communities SunTrust serves through Solid Gives Back, the employee volunteerism program. Since 2010, SunTrust employees have given more than 100,000 hours of service, millions of dollars, and touched a diverse range of charitable programming. Through a dedicated Web site and paid time off to volunteer, employees are offered hundreds of opportunities to get involved in the causes that matter most to them.

And here at the ToolBank, we could not be more grateful that they chose us! Just one Tuesday of service resulted in completion of 14 critically needed warehouse projects. Volunteer labor provided by SunTrust granted an immediate increase in our overall capacity to keep eve more local volunteers working hard across greater Atlanta, all with blue tools in hand.

To date this year, your ToolBank has equipped over 27,000 community –based volunteers to plant 12 new community gardens, improve 25 local parks, build 3 new playgrounds, repair 127 homes, school, nonprofit facilities,  and so much more.

Thanks to supporters like SunTrust, the mission to keep volunteers working in communities like yours will continue to thrive.

Now, that’s some good ‘ole fashioned bankin’ we can all trust.

 

Earth Day 2014: Put The Blue Tools To Work!


BeltLineDirtyGlove4,146 volunteers have put the blue tools to work building and sustaining the Atlanta BeltLine – completing 225 service projects to date!

NOW – IT’S YOUR TURN. 
Join Keep Atlanta Beautiful, Atlanta BeltLine, Inc., the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership, Park Pride, Trees Atlanta, the Atlanta Community ToolBank, and neighborhood partners to remove invasive bamboo and debris from Northeast Hiking Trail on the Atlanta BeltLine to celebrate this year’s Earth Day on the Atlanta BeltLine

With the popularity of the Eastside Trail, this stretch of interim hiking trail is getting more and more use. With your help, we will continue to improve the experience as people use the Atlanta BeltLine to connect between Piedmont Park and surrounding amenities.

Additionally, 
removing invasive plant species will increase the area available for native plants to grow, helping to support the local wildlife food web.
*If you are joining us as a group, each participant must register separately. 

IMPORTANT:
 In order to participate, you must print and sign this Liability Waiver and bring it with you to check in on the day of the event.

Volunteer check in will be near the 
Park Tavern, 500 10th Street Northeast, Atlanta, GA 30309. 

DIRECTIONS
Park Tavern: 500 10th Street Northeast, Atlanta, GA 30309. 

By MARTA:
Take Bus Route 36 or 99 which makes multiple stops along 10th Street near Piedmont Park.

Walk from
 MARTA Midtown Station: Depart the train and head East on 10th Street. Park Tavern will be on the corner of 10th St. and Monroe.

Walk or Bike:
 Another way to enjoy the Atlanta BeltLine! Walk or ride your bike on the Eastside Trail to the meeting area.

Bagels and coffee courtesy of District 6 Councilmember 
Alex Wan. Water provided by Keep Atlanta Beautiful.

Thank you to all collaborating Atlanta nonprofits!




Cosby Kid Changing Lives for Atlanta Youth…

We enjoyed meeting actress (and blue tool user!) Keshia Knight Pulliam during her volunteer time with ToolBank member agency HouseProud Atlanta, Inc. and were thrilled to see her receive the Daily Point of Light Award. Read her story below and nominate someone you know as a Daily Point of Light. To learn about One America, check out www.facebook.com/joinoneamerica.

Keshia Knight Pulliam, right, hands out Kamp Kizzy shirts to last year's campers.

Keshia Knight Pulliam, right, hands out Kamp Kizzy shirts to last year’s campers.

You might know her as Rudy Huxtable, the adorable, truth-telling youngest sibling on “The Cosby Show,” or as Miranda Payne, a con artist who turned her life around on “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne.”

But to hundreds of girls in Atlanta, actress Keshia Knight Pulliam is simply “Miss Keshia” – their mentor at Kamp Kizzy.

In 2011, Pulliam took on a new kind of role that she calls her “true passion” when she launched Kamp Kizzy, an annual two-day free summer camp for girls ages 11 to 16. Kamp Kizzy is designed to encourage girls to pursue their dreams by bonding and participating in a diverse curriculum – designed by Pulliam – that includes performing arts, sensitivity and cultural diversity training, team-building exercises, creative writing, and lessons in etiquette and public speaking.

“It’s all about empowerment and self-esteem, about carving out your identity,” says Pulliam. “At this age, girls feel a need for acceptance, and sometimes that leads to bad decisions. We’re trying to help by creating a space of being listened to and a place of love, where you know everyone is there to support you and to let you know you can accomplish anything with your life.”

Each year, about 100 girls take part in Kamp Kizzy. (“Kizzy” is a nickname that was given to Pulliam by her grandfather.) The camp, which has expanded to four days, is held at Atlanta’s Spelman College, Pulliam’s alma mater. Pulliam hopes that through increased fundraising, to which she devotes much of her time, the camp will be able to serve more girls. Pulliam is also expanding Kamp Kizzy to include a boys’ group in 2015.

Pulliam says that the camp has been so popular that many participants return year after year until they reach the age limit, after which they volunteer as counselors.

“That’s one of the greatest things,” says Pulliam. “They’re excited to come back, and it’s wonderful to see them and hear how they’ve been working to accomplish their goals.”

Kamp Kizzy grew out of a lifetime of volunteer service.

“My mother and father taught me the importance of giving back,” says Pulliam, who at age 5 became the youngest person nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Emmy Award. “I’ve been volunteering help or giving money or clothes for as long as I can remember.”

Keisha Knight Pulliam, left, puts the blue tools to work with long-time ToolBank member agency, HouseProud Atlanta.

Keshia Knight Pulliam, left, puts the blue tools to work repairing a senior’s home with long-time ToolBank member agency, HouseProud Atlanta.

After “The Cosby Show” ended in 1992, Pulliam took a break from acting to pursue her education. While studying at Spelman – where she earned a degree in sociology with a concentration in film – she performed community service as a Bonner Scholar. She was also a volunteer at Atlanta’s Hosea Feed the Hungry.

Pulliam says that at Spelman, and even earlier at Foxcroft School in Virginia, she was privileged to have strong women in her life and that she wants to pass that on to future generations through Kamp Kizzy.

“My experience has been blessed, but that doesn’t buffer me from the rest of society,” Pulliam says. “It inspires me to help others. Working at Kamp Kizzy is something I’ll do for the rest of my life.”

*Article reposted via www.pointsoflight.org/blog

Want to help even more volunteers plant more trees, improve our schools, build new playgrounds and so much more? DONATE NOW to keep the blue tools working for you!

 

 

True-Blue Hero…

PeterWarehouseName: Peter Schrand

Favorite Gig: ToolBank Master Repair Volunteer

Day Job: Delta Airline Mechanic

Warehouse Tour of Duty: 5 years now and counting!

Motivation: “ToolBank allows me to really use my talents to give back in a way that fits my own personal style.”

Favorite Repair Task: “Best days are when I get to burn something.”

Recent Tool Tip: Lightly firing the tip of nylon rope will prevent fraying.

Are you ready to join Team ToolBank? Click to check out the latest volunteer opportunities!

A typical volunteer day servicing a power tool!

A typical volunteer day servicing a power tool!PeterTiller

You Have The Power! Click now to support the good works of over 54,000 local volunteers!

You Have The Power! Click now to support the good works of over 54,000 local volunteers!

Volunteers Make It Happen

Wow! What an incredible three weeks we’ve had. The outpouring of support from our own ToolBank volunteers and local service groups has reaffirmed what we all know Atlanta is truly about – people who care. As we prepare the new warehouse for the big move on July 20th, over 100 volunteers have already given their time to get the dirty work done. The progress is real – thanks to our amazing friends!

FRBArielShot

We just can’t say THANKS enough:

The Main Man Brock

Brian “Sparky” Houge

Smokey The DJ

Ron Sargent

Peter Schrand

Eric Nankervis

Lorraine Lombardi

Cathie McBeth

Community Bucket

Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Youth Build Atlanta

ToolBank Board of Directors

Hope you can join the fun at our next volunteer day: http://www.atlanta.toolbank.org/Volunteer.aspx

CommBucket  (5)

It’s a Homerun with AutoTrader.com!

Cleaning and inspecting tools is a weekly must!

Chipper may have faced his last stand, but AutoTrader.com continues to hit it outta the park. The green team recently completed a doubleheader of service, providing home repairs with ToolBank member agency HousePround and rounding the bases with an afternoon of tool repair and inventory organization over at the ToolBank warehouse.

Shannon Coursey, Community Relations Coordinator for AutoTrader.com appreciates the collaborative approach, “Atlanta Community ToolBank and HouseProud do so much in the communities where we live, work and play. AutoTrader.com is proud to partner with these two amazing organizations. Our employee volunteers are always up for the challenge and look forward to continuing to collaborate and help in any way we can.”

This year alone, AutoTrader.com volunteers have given over 400 hours of service directly to the ToolBank, while also putting more than $65,000 worth of ToolBank inventory to good use assisting more than 25 ToolBank member agencies with everything from basic paint jobs to major community garden installations.

Perhaps HouseProud client Mrs. Pippy says it best, “These volunteers have a spiritual anointing. Everything they do, they do with love, and that makes all the difference.”

Mrs. Pippy and her blue tool powered dream team!

Intellinet Saves the Day… and Warehouse!

Record high temperatures? No sweat!  Thousands of work gloves in need of pairing? You got it! No matter what task Master Tool Librarian CJ needed completed, Intellinet exceeded the challenge. One oh-so lucky and energetic team of volunteers tackled our warehouse the morning after those massive summer thunderstorms pummeled Atlanta. Upon arrival, these intrepid do-gooders discovered a steamy, sticky as molasses warehouse, surrounded by remnants of a recently “dissected at lightening speed” tree. Yep. A big ‘ole tree had done fell on ToolBank!

Big Tree. Fell Down.

As the smiles only got wider and high fives were followed by, “This is gonna be awesome!” – we knew this was no ordinary service team.

The can-do attitude was maintained throughout the day as debris was cleared, tool lending inventory was prepared for check-out and laughs were shared by all. Thus, no one on staff was surprised to learn, that at Intellinet, giving back just comes naturally.

Can’t say enough good things about this team!

“I’m so excited that our consulting leadership team joined up with the Atlanta Community ToolBank to serve this great non-profit and our community”, said Mark Seeley, Intellinet president and senior partner.  “Any executive can state that a program exists, but it’s a cultural commitment to service coupled with employees actually making the time to serve that impacts our community.”

Erin Hicks, Intellinet’s Human Resources Director, added “We are honored to serve so many great causes, such as the Atlanta Community ToolBank, through our firm-wide initiatives to give back.”

Intellinet through its Intellinet Serves and Intellinet Foundation has supported over 50 local, national, and global charities since its inception in 1993. To learn more about Intellinet’s community involvement, visit www.intellinet.com/intellinetserves.

No one expected yard duty, but the challenge was accepted with humor and hard work!

Volunteers – Reward Thyself!

Time to get your just deserts!

Founded by Atlanta jazz icon and noted philanthropist, Tammy Allen, Do Good Get Rewards is an online system that allows individuals to register a personal profile and log their volunteer service hours with participating nonprofits (Yep, your ToolBank is on board!).  Each hour served earns reward points, which can be redeemed for great prizes, including certificates to local attractions, health and wellness providers, and travel vouchers.

Now, YOU can up the ante even more by applying to be a Top 50 Volunteer.

Six Flags Over Georgia, in partnership with Do Good Get Rewards, has kicked off a contest to honor Atlanta’s Top Volunteers. The search will culminate this August with Volunteer Appreciation Month at the theme park.

“Helping people make a difference is my passion.”
~ Do Good Get Rewards Founder Tammy Allen

Applying is easy! Simply submit your personal story of volunteerism at www.DoGoodGetRewards.com by August 10th. The Council of Volunteer Administrators of Metropolitan Atlanta will review each submission to determine the Top Volunteer finalists.

The Top 50 volunteers will each receive four complimentary tickets to Six Flags Over Georgia. The overall top volunteer will receive an additional 50 tickets to be donated to the non-profit organization of their choice. Hmmm… we happen to know a great nonprofit if you’re looking for one…

And here’s another perk – to award all Atlanta volunteers, Six Flags has proclaimed August as Volunteer Appreciation Month. All volunteers can purchase tickets at a 54% discount through Do Good Get Rewards. To receive the discount, each person must volunteer a minimum of four hours with a local non-profit organization.

Visit www.DoGoodGetRewards.com to create your volunteer profile, check out the participating nonprofits, and of course, submit your own Top Volunteer testimonial.