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

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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Volunteers Get Their Due…

Here at the ToolBank, it’s impossible to truly place a numeric value on the time our volunteer’s give to support warehouse operations, special events and even good ‘ole data entry! They fill our days with smiles and we quite simply could not make it all happen without them! However, it was encouraging to see the “officially sanctioned” hourly value for volunteer service has been bumped up a bit. Check out the release below from our pals at Independent Sector.

About time!  Independent Sector announces that the 2014 estimate for the value of a volunteer hour is $23.07—a 52-cent increase from 2013, up 2.3 percent from the previous year.

The value of volunteer time provides one way to measure the impact millions of individuals make with each hour they dedicate to making a difference. The release of this important figure comes during National Volunteer Week, a program of Independent Sector member Points of Light held April 12-18, 2015.

“For more than 40 years, National Volunteer Week has recognized the value of volunteers to nonprofits, to the people they serve, to society, and to life on this planet,” said Independent Sector President and CEO Diana Aviv. “Though we could never truly put a price tag on what volunteers mean to their communities, we are proud to offer this figure to attempt to frame the immense value of the time and effort they give.”

IS also has updated the state-level breakdown for the value of volunteer time in 2013, ranging from a low of $19.31 in Arkansas up to $39.86 per hour in the District of Columbia. New for this year is an interactive map and table showing data for each state, where the value of a volunteer hour is highest and lowest, and how much the figure has risen or fallen since the previous year. Also new is the complete dataset for the value of volunteer time for all 50 states and D.C. from 2001-2014.

See the full map and table of national and state-level volunteer time values

The latest Bureau of Labor Statistics data show nonprofits employ approximately 11.4 million workers—about 10.3 percent of the American private sector employment—and account for about 5.4 percent of GDP. According to data from the Corporation for National and Community Service, about 62.6 million Americans, or 25.4 percent of the adult population, contributed 7.7 billion hours of service in 2013. Religious organizations were cited as the type of organization that volunteers worked in the most (33.9%), followed by educational or youth service (26.2%) and social or community service organizations (14.8%).

US map displaying value of volunteer time data