Noah Smock, Executive Director
Favorite tool of 2016: Mobile playground!
Thanks to KaBOOM! & Target, the ToolBank was awarded this Imagination Playground set in late September 2016. We’re excited for our first full year of lending it to partners to empower play in non-standard spaces like 5K races & neighborhood celebrations.
Noah says: “Adding a ‘tool’ like this mobile playground really broadens our service in response to community-identified needs. The ToolBank is a responsive resource hub. We listen to our partners & understand that our inventory has to go beyond shovels, rakes & drills. As powerful as those reliable standards are, we have a chance to enrich our offerings when we listen to partners. While we’ll never run out of the basics, we can offer other equipment when we know it will serve our partners.”
The playground went out just twice before the cooler weather set in but look for this blue playscape to pop up in a neighborhood near you in spring 2017!
Least favorite tool of 2016: Trash grabbers
This one’s hard, as the work of the trash-grabber is so important & these are durable, easy to use & popular models. But to be honest, they’re also easily lost, clumsy to pull off the shelf & relatively hard to count.
We’re proud of the fact that our 70 grabbers were often out in the field throughout much of the spring, summer and fall. In fact, they went out a total of 1,219 times! We gladly tolerate the trash-grabber because we know it translates to cleaner, greener neighborhoods. But if pressed we admit: these are a pain to pull.
Thumbs up for value, thumbs down for ease to a staff of 2 people!
Rachel Thompson, Program Manager
Favorite Tool of 2016 : Medium Duty String Trimmer
Says Rachel: “This 40 Volt Cordless Brushless String Trimmer from DeWALT is by far my favorite tool of 2016. We received two of these models in June of 2015 and loved them so much that we increased our inventory to 12 in April 2016. These are a battery- powered tool but have the power of similar gas models. Whenever I get the chance to use one of these to trim around the ToolBank rain gardens and side walk I get super excited. The power that these put out cut my trimming time by half. Due to their two string design, I get a much more even cut.
Our members loved them too! During the peak season our entire inventory was often out in the field and I would have to sneak in a quick trim between a return and pick up in the same day. Not including my own use at the ToolBank, the string trimmer went out 170 times and considering that they are only needed for half the year makes that quite an impressive number.”
Least Favorite Tool of 2016 : 9 inch Roller Cage
The 9 inch roller cage went out 649 times in 2016, which is awesome. What is not awesome is that they went out 649 times and not a single member painted with our lovely shade of ToolBank blue! These are by far the most difficult tool to identify as a ToolBank tool once they’ve been used. Our signature blue gets covered up regularly.
Although they may be annoying in the warehouse, the rainbow of colors and the variety of projects that the roller cage gets used for make them well worth all of the cleaning and rebranding. Everything from street murals to school gyms, park benches and picnic tables got a fresh coat of paint in 2016, which makes all our hard work worthwhile. So while the roller cage may not be a warehouse favorite, it’s well-loved where it really counts: in the field!