Is there a more frequently talked about election year phrase than "Are you better off now, then you were four years ago?" I am not blogging on politics, I will leave that in Amy's hands. But I do worry about the state of affairs in our community, county, state, nation and world.
That's a lot to worry about, and it's no wonder I am so gray! There are alot of folks doing really good work, but do you get the impression that it is like shovelling sand at the beach? As a parent, I look at the condition of the world we leave our children, and it is NOT better than the one we inherited, in my opinion. So what is our response?
We could throw in the towel, I suppose, but that hardly seems right. One response is to figure ways to expand our efforts exponentially. The Baltimore Community ToolBank does that. It is a new non-profit that I am involved in. I love it because of it's reach.
Imagine a warehouse with hundreds of hammers, thousands of
gloves, scores of ladders, and dozens of other types of tools for lending to
nonprofit organizations for use in community revitalization projects. There will be 156 different types of tools, and nearly 10,000 of these tools.
The Baltimore Community ToolBank will guarantee that every volunteer is equipped with the tools they need to get the job done. ToolBank tools encourage
nonprofits to think big, perform larger and more ambitious projects, and fully
engage more skillful volunteers. No more projects with 50 volunteers sharing 10 shovels.
We have a Board of Directors, representing local companies like Stanley Black and Decker, M & T Bank, UPS, and Home Depot. Of the 13 Directors, 4 of us reside in Severna Park.
We have a facility...1224 Wicomico St...right near the Ravens Stadium. It is ideally located for access from the city, or from surrounding counties.
We have one employee, an energetic Executive Director who is busy preparing to open the facility. We will staff the operation with volunteers.
We will grand open on June 8th, but we hope to open in a test phase in mid-may. We will also have volunteer days most saturdays in May to set the tools, paint them our signature blue, and prepare the 100 year old warehouse for it's new tenants. Youth volunteers are welcome!
The Baltimore Community ToolBank will be the third in the network, Atlanta has been operation over 20 years, and Charlotte opened last year. The fourth, in Cincinnati, should open this summer.
The tools will be available to all non-profits, community associations, educational institutions, and faith-based organizations. The cost to borrow the tools is 3% of the retail value, meaning an organization can borrow $1000 worth of tools for a week at a cost of $30!
I am thrilled to now be so very close to the opening of BCTB! If you would like more information about it, check out the website www.baltimore.toolbank.org or email me at email@example.com . If you belong to an organization that you think could use our services, and you are doing a project in mid-may or june, let me know.
What other organizations do you think could be created to help the people that are on the front lines doing the most good?