By Jana Smith, Executive Director
It is hard to believe one year ago I was running around an “almost” set up warehouse, hanging banners, setting out tool cookies and putting the finishing touches on my speech as we embarked on our official Grand Opening Party to welcome and show off our amazing 10,000 square foot warehouse full of our blue barraged of tools ready to deploy into communities throughout the state! What a night it was, from the inspiring speakers (including our own councilwoman Kate Gallego), to our yummy tool cupcakes and cookies, to cutting the “ribbon” ToolBank style with a reciprocating saw (yep I used a saw in heels and a dress) as we unveiled the Phoenix Community ToolBank to our community. What have we been up to after the cookie crumbs were swept up and our ladder bar put away?
One year down and we have loaned over $200,000 worth of tools to member agencies, ranging from American Red Cross to the Children’s Museum, to equip 17,000 volunteers and staff in support of 336 projects around the state! If that wasn’t enough we creating a pilot program with Delta Dental of Arizona Foundation to carry portable dental equipment in inventory, brought new fans to the ToolBank through our Blue Brew Crew Happy Hours, increased our tool inventory to over $160,000 worth of tools available to member agencies, hosted our first Hammers and Ales and Tool Rush Sale, brought amazing new leaders onto our Board of Directors, and forged new relationships with donors who are excited to step up in support of “ending tool scarcity for Arizona’s volunteers.” As we close out our first year serving the community and its volunteers with #bluetools, I am amazed when I reflect back on all the projects our tools were able to support throughout the year. From our first tool lend to support the building of a playground at a local elementary school, to planting community gardens in Guadalupe, to providing dental x-rays at AZ Mission of Mercy, Phoenix Community ToolBank is maximizing the impact our community volunteers are providing to the nonprofit sector.
Total Retail value of tools borrowed- $200,000.00
Total volunteers equipped- 17,000
Total Projects completed with ToolBank tools- 336
We want to thank ALL of our donors, fans and ToolBank ambassadors for taking this amazing journey with us. Without your support and belief in our mission we would still be imagining what blue tools could do for our community. However, we need your help continuing to grow our mission and impact. Please think about sharing our resources with others, volunteering your time, and most importantly becoming a Blue Crew Donor today! Celebrate with us over the next year with a monthly donation as we grow the ToolBank movement! And stay tuned because we are just getting started- this was year one, can you image what we have up our sleeves for year two? You won’t be disappointed!