ToolBank Spotlight On U.S. Vets

U.S. Vets, Phoenix ToolBank’s January Member Agency Spotlight, provides housing, counseling, career development and supportive services to homeless, low-income and disabled veterans.

Recently U.S. Vets partnered with ART Alliance to decorate over 130 veteran rooms as well as their facility. When the opportunity was presented to U.S.Vets, they immediately accepted because this gave them the opportunity to provide elegant and expensive decorating items (mirrors, rugs, pictures, lamps, tables, chairs and accent pieces) to disadvantaged veterans. US Vets expressed to ToolBank that “although the veterans have financial barriers, they deserve the opportunity to experience and live in a nicely decorated environment”.

U.S.Vets had veterans who initially chose not to participate in the event; however, during the event, these veterans started working with the designers to decorate their room. One volunteer stated “it is truly life changing when you can give something (talent, time, decorations) to those less fortunate. At the end of the day, income and status do not matter, people matter”. What moved U.S.VETS about the veterans was their appreciation of the project. Veterans have stated, that they “can’t believe people would do all of ‘this’ for them”.

Phoenix Community ToolBank saved U.S. Vets time, money and stress. Staff shared with ToolBank that their project took 9 months to plan and was a very BIG event. The use of blue tools is how 150 decorators completed the project and got the job done. U.S. Vets staff expressed that ToolBank was extremely organized and professional and ensured we had the tools needed! In reality, U.S. Vets stated they could not have done the scope of work without the ToolBank. They reported they had a high need for many items from levels, screwdrivers, box cutters, hammers, drill etc. To purchase items for the event would have been too costly for both parties, very difficult to organize and obtain the diversity of items we needed. They really don’t know what they would have done without the ToolBank.

APS Becomes Proud Sponsor of Phoenix Community ToolBank

PHOENIX – November 30, 2017 – Since its inception in 2015, Phoenix Community ToolBank has provided tools to over 40,000 volunteers who have completed nearly 1,000 community improvement projects in the Valley. Executive Director Jana Smith says none of this would be possible without the support of generous corporate donations, including the recent $5,000 grant from APS.
The Phoenix Community ToolBank is a nonprofit tool-lending program that provides organizations with access to an inventory of tools for use in volunteer and community benefit projects. By providing the tools, Phoenix Community ToolBank enhances the charitable sector’s capacity to serve, facilitating volunteerism in Phoenix.
Jana Smith, Phoenix Community ToolBank Executive Director, says a partnership with APS was a natural fit for the organization.
“APS is so philanthropic and has such an active employee volunteer program, we are thrilled to have them coming on board as a new corporate partner,” explains Smith. “In 2016, APS employees volunteered a total of 120,000 volunteer hours… and with our new partnership, I have no doubt we are going to be seeing a lot of a blue tools in the hands of APS employees!”
Smith says companies interested in partnering with Phoenix Community ToolBank, either as a sponsor or for volunteer projects, should visit or call (602) 438-4005.
About Phoenix ToolBank
Phoenix ToolBank offers tools to a variety of community-based partners to strengthen and celebrate the shared community.  ToolBank tools range from power tools to support building projects, to hand held tools such as shovels for planting community gardens, to painting supplies for rehab/upkeep projects and even items such as tables and chairs for events. By investing in ToolBank, nonprofits are able to equip volunteers and staff to support projects without having to redirect agency funding away from their critical missions. This also allows the nonprofit to avoid having to store, clean and maintain the tools, which may only be used for a one-time project or infrequent enough to provide additional cost versus benefit to the organization.  ToolBank therefore increases the capacity and impact of the local volunteer, of which APS is heavily invested. When provided access to tools, charitable organizations are empowered to work on the front lines of the most entrenched problems facing our community.
Phoenix ToolBank equips organizations to do more, build more, and be more.

Volunteers from the APS Community Connectors group use paint brushes and tools from the Phoenix Tool Bank to paint a map of the United States at Sine Elementary School in Glendale during the Valley of the Sun United Way’s Day of Action in September.

Media Contact: Elaina Verhoff, Gordon C. James Public Relations,, 602-274-1988

Toolbank Spotlight on: Operation Enduring Gratitude

Key Facts about Your Volunteer Experience: We partnered with Operation Enduring Gratitude to provide tools and labor for rebuilding a Veterans  home.  Tools were borrowed from Toolbank prior to EOG setting up an account with you.

Date of your Volunteer Project/Event: January and February 2017

Total number of volunteers: 12 and 50+

Brief description of your non-profit organization (1-2 sentences):  The Mission Continues is a veteran volunteer group whos primary purpose is reintegrating returning veterans with problems adjusting to civilian life through service projects.   We get them out in a safe environment with other volunteers who have had similar experiences doing active work that assists other people.   In Phoenix, 1st Platoon works with parks and rec and 2nd Platoon works with at risk and disadvantaged youth, both platoons assist other organizations with labor for their volunteer projects. 

Brief description of your volunteer project/event and why your organization chose to undertake it (2-3 sentences):  Operation Enduring Gratitude had boulder fields that needed to be cleared before landscaping could begin at a Veterans home.  The Mission Continues had partnered with OEG prior to this and when labor and wheelbarrows were needed, we used our contacts with Toolbank and called on our teammates to clear the rocks and level the grounds.

Please describe a moment from your volunteer experience that personally impacted you the most (1-3 sentences):  After the first event, a 12 year old girl asked if her helper (me) would be there for the second event.  If by spending a Saturday morning working alongside this girl, letting her take the lead, doing the heavy work she was not capable of handling, I made enough impact to be remembered a month later then it was a successful operation.  

What information about your member agency would you like to share with other Toolbank member agencies, Toolbank donors, and Toolbank volunteers (e.g., upcoming public events)? Check us out on Facebook: TheMissionContinues1stPlatoonP hoenix/?ref=page_internal

If your member agency was a tool, what tool would it be and why?  Handyman tool for its usefulness and versatility

What did you enjoy most about working with the Toolbank?  Don’t have to buy and store all these tools.  Also Jana is so helpful and accommodating.

What is your all-time favorite Toolbank tool or item and why?  Got to be Wheelbarrows as we rent a lot of them.  Allows one person to do the work of many

What does the Toolbank mean to you?  What do you love about the Toolbank organization?  A partnering agency for those items our volunteers need to be successful and you do it with a smile.

Toolbank Spotlight on: Children’s Museum of Phoenix

Acting on the principle that learning is a joy, the Children’s Museum of Phoenix’s mission is to engage the minds, muscles and imaginations of children and the grown-ups who care about them. With hands-on, interactive exhibits designed for children ages birth to 10, the Museum focuses on learning through play, with emphasis on early childhood education and school-readiness.


The Museum’s vision is to foster a joy of learning and to: provide engaging projects, exhibits and programming for young children and their families; educate parents and caregivers about child development and parenting techniques; and build cultural understanding, positive social interaction.


The Children’s Museum of Phoenix uses the ToolBank for their bi-annual Spruce Ups held in October every year. The Spruce Up is bath time at the Museum! The museum has 20,000 square feet of exhibit space. At the Spruce Up, volunteers clean the walls, ceilings, and floors with the attention to detail that you would want from an institution where your children play. The ToolBank is a wonderful low-cost resource for the Museum as they do not have the supplies available to complete this large cleaning project without borrowing dozens of ladders, shop vacs, power washers, and more from the ToolBank. It’s heart-warming to see the community volunteers come together to help and provide children with a unique educational environment to play.


Please check out the Museum’s social media accounts for more information:






 Singleton Moms’ volunteers hope the day will come when cancer has a cure and can no longer threaten lives and rob children of their parents,but until then, these cheerful volunteers tend to tasks and chores that can overwhelm a single parent fighting a terminal illness.
Alma Henriques is a Care Team Specialist at Singleton mom. She contacted Phoenix Community ToolBank last November as she set out to help a single mom with some yard work. Like many Arizonans, this mom had a wily patch of Aloe Vera spreading beyond the confines of pots and planters.  Alma borrowed rakes and shovels from Phoenix ToolBank and with the help of four other volunteers, trimmed back the succulents and cleared away mounds of dead tree debris.
When the indoor and outdoor chores pile up, it can remind patients of their worst days and just how lousy they feel. Alma and her fellow volunteers know that finished chores, tidy yards, and swept porches can help parents focus on the real priorities of caring for their kids and getting healthy. Singleton’s mission reflects this belief, “Meeting the needs of today. Providing hope for tomorrow.”
When asked about her experience with Phoenix ToolBank, Alma told us that she felt supported no matter how many questions she had for Phoenix ToolBank’s Executive Director, Jana Smith.  And anyone who has worked with Jana would likely agree with Alma who described her as “ridiculously friendly and always available.” Alma also loves being able to borrow just about any tool they need to make their mission possible.
Singleton Moms is planning lots more spring cleanings and yard work before the hot summer months kick in. With your support, Phoenix Phoenix Community ToolBank will continue be there for Singleton’s Moms and single parents battling cancer.


Wells Fargo Stories: New Phoenix ToolBank will provide lift to volunteer efforts

“These tools are going to be building gardens, cleaning up neighborhoods and alleyways . . . keeping our parks beautiful, retrofitting homes and building homes,” says Iain Hamp, a Wells Fargo team member who dedicated more than four years of his volunteer efforts to bringing a community ToolBank to Phoenix.

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A playground in three minutes, Powered by the Phoenix ToolBank

Tools from the Phoenix ToolBank run rampant in this spectacular time lapse video of a KaBOOM! playground by Member Agency Phoenix Collegiate Academy.

Phoenix Business Journal: Community ToolBank nonprofit to open in Phoenix

The Phoenix Community ToolBank is set to open later this year. It is one of nine ToolBanks nationwide under ToolBank USA, a national nonprofit that provides tools to other organizations.

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Frontdoors News: Phoenix Community ToolBank Grand Opening

The Phoenix Community Toolbank held their grand opening Thursday, April 23, 2015 at their warehouse.  The ToolBank is the steward of a 1,000+ inventory of tools available for lending to nonprofits, schools, neighborhood associations, religious organizations, and other charitable causes so that they can further their mission related efforts.

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CBS 5: Community ‘toolbank’ lends equipment for charitable missions

CBS 5: Community ‘toolbank’ lends equipment for charitable missions

Now, there’s an organization providing tool for people making Arizona better.
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