ToolBank Disaster Services in New Orleans has a New Home!

Tools and trailers continue to be loaned to groups supporting those impacted by Hurricane Ida. We are excited to announce that we will be partnering with Rebuilding Together New Orleans to rent 2500 sq. ft. of space to establish our New Orleans and long-term recovery operations. Our team will be adding 2 additional trailers (18’ & 24’) that will provide greater reach to the outlying communities.

Because of our continued efforts in the New Orleans area, we’ve added Dan Melia to our ToolBank team. Dan Melia was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, but has lived in New Orleans since he was sent there by the Navy in 2007. He served as a Navy Corpsman for 5 years, and has always dedicated himself to a life of service to the community. Dan’s first disaster recovery volunteer experience came in 2012 in Violet, LA, where he helped clear roads blocked by fallen trees after Hurricane Isaac. Other than serving the community, Dan’s greatest loves are his dog Clara and the sport of baseball.



ToolBank Disaster Services Puerto Rico Beach Day!

We love a day at the beach…especially when our partners at the Scuba Dogs Society are using our tools for a cleanup day! Scuba Dogs Society is a nonprofit organization dedicated to environment conservation efforts in Puerto Rico. They lead one of the islands largest beach cleanup efforts every year along with the Ocean Conservancy.

The ToolBank Network is getting geared up for our 2022 Summit the week of June 20th in Puerto Rico. The ToolBank USA staff will be joined by the Executive Directors from ToolBanks across the nation for a week of projects on the island as well as idea sharing and best practices discussions. Our Puerto Rico TDS Manager, Jaime Valle, looks forward to showing the group some of the local attractions while getting some vital work done to aid the communities impacted by the numerous disasters that have struck the island.




After the Fire: How to Disaster with Trey Bearden

ToolBank USA’s Chief Program Officer, Trey Bearden, joined Jennifer Gray Thompson, CEO of After the Fire, for one of their latest How To Disaster podcasts. Trey helped explain how ToolBank USA helps improve recovery and community preparedness during times of disasters and beyond. “It’s not just what happens in the immediate response…but also how we span the entire spectrum to be able to provide those necessary resources because it does take a long time to rebuild.” -Trey Bearden
Episode Description:
Many people lost not just their homes and belongings during a disaster, but also the ability to continue working. On top of dealing with their own loss, many families find it difficult to afford the additional costs of repairs and rebuilding. Often times people just don’t have the necessary tools to do some of the most basic tasks. READ MORE


Atlanta ToolBank Update:

The Atlanta ToolBank hosted it’s 2nd Annual Boards & BBQ event on Saturday, May 14th. Family and friends gathered and competed for the coveted Cornhole Champion Title. They feasted on some delicious BBQ while sipping on some beverages from the local breweries. The Burning Cornholes were crowned this year’s champion! Check out all of the great pictures from the event at:

Many thanks to this year’s event sponsors, The Home Depot Foundation, FHL Bank Atlanta, Alston & Bird, and CRH.

Baltimore ToolBank Update:

The Baltimore ToolBank does Earth Week big! Their blue tools were flying off the shelves to their member agencies. Check out some of the pictures and projects they supported to the right. Their partners list is lengthy and have done amazing work to create a more resilient shared community in the Baltimore region. Some of the groups that utilized ToolBank tools included: Black People Ride Bikes, Pigtown Climbs, Perfectly Me, York Road Partnership, National Wildlife Federation, The Urban Oasis, The Mission Continues, Midtown Community Benefits District, The Black Church Food Security Network, Stillmeadow Community Fellowship, The 6th Branch, Baltimore Tree Trust, Living Classrooms Foundation, and Blue Water Baltimore.

Check out the Baltimore ToolBank’s short video that illustrates their intentional approach to sustainability at their warehouse. 

Charlotte ToolBank Update:

Two of our ToolBanks’ Executive Directors teamed up to catch a Charlotte FC match in April. Matt Walenciak from Atlanta met up with Charlotte’s Maureen Krueger for the match…however, it looks like Maureen’s team came away with the win. Sorry you had to make the trip from Atlanta for a loss, Matt! We know it was a fun-filled day regardless the outcome!

Sticking with the theme of fun in Charlotte, the ToolBank hosted a group of volunteers from the Trinity Episcopal School and asked the students what tools they would grab from the warehouse if there was a Zombie Apocalypse! Check out some of the items the groups selected in the images to the right.

Cincinnati ToolBank Update:

Phase 1 of the Cincinnati ToolBank’s upstairs build out is officially complete! The ToolBank staff hosted their Building on Our Community sponsors, board members, and partners from Woodward Career Technical High School and Easterseals at a ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday, April 25th. Students from both Woodward and Easterseals helped complete Phase 1 of 3 which included building 3 bathrooms alongside their building and construction partners. The ToolBank group looks forward to starting on Phase 2 of this project that will include a kitchenette, conference room, and the staff’s offices. CLICK HERE to check out additional pictures from the ribbon cutting event.

If you’re interested in ToolBank events in Cincinnati, be sure to check out their Par-Tee Golf Outing on Friday, June 10 or their 10th Anniversary Party on Monday, August 8.

Houston ToolBank Update:

The Houston ToolBank hosted their 2nd Annual Par-Tee for the ToolBank golf outing on Tuesday, April 5th at the Wildcat Golf Club. The ToolBank was joined by their amazing board members, donors, volunteers, and staff. ToolBank USA’s Patty Russart and Bill Hess also made it in for the outing…although I don’t think they took home the championship trophy! Sounds like everyone had a wonderful day on the course with amazing weather.

The ToolBank also launched their Tool Hub program in the Houston area. The shipping container Tool Hubs can be found in multiple neighborhoods including Montgomery County, Fort Bend Count, and Galveston County.

Phoenix ToolBank Update:

The Phoenix ToolBank celebrated their 7th anniversary and grand opening. Since they opened their doors, the ToolBank has equipped volunteers to complete over 3,500 projects. Check out some of the pictures from the original grand opening 7 years ago to the right.

QR codes have become all the rage since the pandemic and the Phoenix ToolBank is utilizing their codes on specific tools to drive engagement on social media from their member agencies. Their QR code goes to their LinkTree, where you can pick your favorite social media platform, snap a pic of your group hard at work supporting the Phoenix community, then post and tag the ToolBank. Love the usage of these codes and the awesome stickers you had made to promote this program!


Richmond ToolBank

The Richmond ToolBank also had a massive Earth Week filled with projects and volunteer efforts. Their team equipped over 1,000 volunteers complete 19 projects that gave the Richmond community a gorgeous facelift. Locations where the majority of the work was done included Chimborazo Park, Belle Isle footbridge, Sons of Hamm Cemetery, Union Hill, and lots more!

Richmond’s Toby Vernon is becoming a familiar face on the local news outlets in Virginia. He most recently appeared on Virginia This Morning to promote the upcoming Hammers & Ales event on Brown’s Island on Saturday, June 11th. For more information about this year’s festivities, visit: Early bird registration ends on May 31st, so sign up soon if you’re in the Richmond area!


Windy City ToolBank

Jim Flory and The Windy City ToolBank are pleased to welcome new board member, Leah Lawson. Leah joins the board with extensive nonprofit involvement and knowledge. She’s currently the Director of Resource Development for Angelic Organics Learning Center and a nonprofit consultant specializing in program/organizational development; including program design/management and grant writing, proposal review, and grant administration for foundations. One of the most interesting aspects of her work was her time with the Advocates for Urban Agriculture. This will be a great fit for Jim and the ToolBank to assist in boosting their tool lending program and gaining member agencies in the Chicago area.

Warehouse locations have been narrowed down. Jim has been working with the leasing agent to finalize their new ToolBank home. The warehouse will most likely be in the Elk Grove Village area and we look forward to keeping everyone updated on their progress in Windy City!

Jim Flory Windy City Chicago ToolBank
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