Left to Right: Katie Davis & Claire Bryson – Arts Program Managers, Megan Becker – Volunteer and Programs Manager

ToolBank Tools Snapshot

Keeping Cincinnati Beautiful

78                 Projects
1872             Volunteers Equipped
7488             Volunteer Hours
$172,748      Volunteer Hours Value
$41,967        Tool Value
$750             Total Cost to Agency

Keep Cincinnati Beautiful (KCB) is an affiliate of the national organization Keep America Beautiful and has been a Cincinnati institution since 1981. KCB works closely with the City of Cincinnati and area community organizations to address issues relating to litter, blight, recycling and sustainability to increase neighborhood pride. KCB has brought the city well known campaigns such as “Don’t Trash the ’Nati”, “Littering Is Wrong Too,” and programs like the Great American Cleanup.

KCB’s education, revitalization and environmental initiatives help build community and foster pride in the places where residents live, work and play. Its grassroots network of neighbors, sponsors and volunteers put passion to work across all 52 neighborhoods, creating safer, cleaner spaces and develop a higher quality of life for all Cincinnatians. KCP empowers the Queen City to rise up and rep the crown!

When asked about an impactful project Keeping Cincinnati Beautiful has taken on with ToolBank tools the team had this to share: This past October volunteers from Perfetti Van Melle came together with KCB to tackle some repairs and projects around Rothenberg Preparatory Academy. One set of projects included securing handrails, improving play equipment, and completing landscape work. Volunteers were also able to transform one very important room…. Originally, the room was an open space filled with donations in disarray, including; food, coats, clothes, games, toys and donated bicycles which could not be readily found or accessed. Food and coats are a saving grace for children in need and having an organized space was critical to the organization, but with limited staff, the Rothenberg Academy did not have resources to take this organization project on themselves. KCB’s volunteers, armed with ToolBank tools were able to transform the room into an effective working space, complete with shelf systems, storage bins and containers to provide easy access for staff and students alike. The principal was moved to tears of joy at the difference that was made for the children that day.

In addition to equipping volunteers with ToolBank tools, KCB saved more than $700 in special events costs for their first big fundraiser “Cincy Block Party” that was held last November. KCB borrowed tables, chairs and linens for the event. Typically, rentals like these costs thousands of dollars and are only available for 24 hours, but borrowing from the ToolBank means that agencies have a week to return the items. KCB stresses the importance that borrowing from the ToolBank means that they can set up their events early and take their time tearing down. “Less stress for events is priceless” said Katie Davis – Arts Program Manager at KCB.

This year, Duke Energy Foundation will be supporting KCB in addition to several other organizations by sponsoring their tool orders through the ToolBank. When asked what this means, KCB staff said, “Yes we are excited! “ “So many tools!” “Free Tools!” Exclaimed the KCB team all at once. “The Duke Energy Foundation sponsorship is amazing! They are sponsoring projects that KCB is doing this year on vacant lots in Evanston,” said Davis. “The ToolBank will be there every step of the way as we get this work done. So, it is just really nice when a funder can see beyond the monetary resources you need and understand that there are other ways to contribute. This sponsorship means that we can plan more frequent volunteer projects since we do not have to dip into our unrestricted funds to equip several hundred volunteers.”

“At the end of the day it just helps the community even more you know so that one donation from Duke helps you guys it helps us it helps all the communities we serve throughout the year which is pretty remarkable that in one act they can impact several neighborhoods in Cincinnati,” says Bryson.

Things looked a lot different for KCB before joining the ToolBank in 2014. KCB’s involvement with the Neighborhood Enhancement Program (NEP) means in part organizing large clean up events in the spring and fall with 300-400 volunteers. But, KCB can now plan a larger breadth of projects because they have access to tools they would have never considered buying before. For instance, being able to build wheelchair accessible planter beds for a project in the West End. The ToolBank allows KCB to better utilize their volunteer’s skills and create more of an impact on the community.

The Cincinnati Community ToolBank is proud to be able to support organizations such as Keep Cincinnati Beautiful and their efforts in the community. To learn more about KCB, please visit http://www.keepcincinnatibeautiful.org/.

Are you a member of the ToolBank and have a story of how our “tools for change” have impacted your agency? Please call Rae DeMoisey at rae.demoisey@toolbank.org or call 513.482.005!