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PHILLY : STAKE

West Philly Tool Library was awarded a $400 grant at Stake #5.

1. Describe the project a STAKE Grant would help you accomplish (approx. 100 words):

Three summers ago, a group of friends in West Philly distributed fliers at the Clark Park farmers market looking for other people who were interested in starting a community-based non-profit tool lending library. Today, more than 1000 members have borrowed over 12,000 tools. We've always envisioned our tool library as a community economic development engine, helping low-income neighbors access the tools they need to maintain their houses and blocks. But we now realize something that we probably should have realized from the beginning: Many of our neighbors don't know how to use tools. A STAKE Grant will allow us to conduct monthly classes on how to use the tools in the library.


2. How will you use the grant toward the realization of your project? $750 is your imaginary budget (50 words):

The Tool Library would like to use the STAKE grant to offer monthly classes for one year on how to use the tools at the Tool Library. We would pay a $50 stipend each month to neighborhood contractors to come in and teach two hour classes (for a total of $600). We would use the balance of the grant to purchase postcards that we could distribute door-to-door in our neighborhood and at local churches advertising the classes.


3. A little about yourself and what led you to your current creative goals. This may include a previous project of yours, ways it both succeeded and failed (this can be entirely unrelated to your proposal) (100 words):

The Tool Library is managed by a steering committee of eight people. We come from many different places in life: some of us are life-long West Philly residents, others moved to the area. Some of us rent, others own houses. I got involved because I had previously lived in Oakland, California, which has a vital tool library that serves as a community hub. So when I moved back to West Philly, I thought we should have one here.

4. Why is this project important? How will it benefit the community? (100 words):

The Tool Library is important because it loans shovels and rakes to neighbors to clean up abandoned lots and plant gardens; loans drills and saws to neighbors to build playgrounds; loans clamps and wood working tools to artists to create projects; loans all sorts of tools to low-income, low-wealth neighbors to fix up their houses; and so much more. Classes are critical to help neighbors who do not have a background in tools or construction to realize that they, too, can use the tools to do these things.

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