PO Box 476, Lake Oswego, OR. 97034
Newsletter ~ 2016 in Review
We begin with Veterans event listings attended by Tools4Troops volunteer’s from January. 27 to December 16 2016 at which time and place home and workplace tools were freely distributed to Veterans of the (5) US Armed Forces branches:
01. January 27: McMinnville, Stand Down, covering rural areas of Yamhill County.
02. February 05: Grants Pass, Stand Down, covering rural areas of southern Oregon.
03. February 16: Robinwood Station Community Center, West Linn, Tools4Troops organized event.
04. March 24: Robinwood Station Community Center, West Linn; Tools4Troops organized event.
05. May 14: Camp Withycombe, Gladstone, Oregon National Guard; a T4T organized event.
06. June 17: Bend, Stand Down, forming part, of a planned charitable outreach into rural areas this marked T4T’s first appearance at this Central Oregon Stand Down.
07. June 24: Klamath Falls, Stand Down, covering Oregon’s rural south & northern CA.
08. August 10: Vancouver, WA. Stand Down marking T4T’s 2nd annual neighboring state appearance.
09. August 19: North Bend, Stand Down, held @ the Airport’s old No.1 hanger this was T4T’s 1st south coast regional appearance. Local Veterans first expression on eyeballing (4) x (8’) long tables laid end to end and covered in attractive home/ workplace tools was to ask the cost? – promptly followed by smiles all around as the realization sunk home that everything on display was FREE.
10. August 28: Tillamook, Stand Down. This was T4T’s first appearance.
11. August 31: Salem, Stand Down and T4T’s 3rd annual appearance in the Capital.
12. September 9: Portland Coliseum, Stand Down with T4T distributing tools to (74) Veterans.
13. September 14: Roseburg, Stand Down another first time attendance underlining T4T’s rural outreach agenda, this was our 3rd third distribution event within just (15) days.
14. September 28: White City, Stand Down, once again we broke new ground as this was our first event in the area and, with the California State line nearby the event attracted several ‘out of state’ neighboring Veterans.
15. October 14: Eugene, Stand Down marking, another 1st time distribution event appearance for T4T.
16. October 22: Troutdale, Stand Down, T4T’s 3rd annual appearance at this event. Note: A special day on the Calendar as T4T presented a set of tools to our 1000th Veteran in less than 1000 days from our first ever event held on June 10 2014 @ West Linn’s Robinwood Station Community Center.
17. November 03: Lebanon, Stand Down and T4T’s 2nd appearance @ this annual event.
18. December 16: Newport, Stand Down, our 3rd annual appearance with the city’s American Legions t invaluable assist in bringing to a close a year in which T4T expanded statewide its charitable outreach.
Other Tool Distribution Outlets:
In conjunction with partners Easter Seals, Oregon Work Source and the OMSN (Oregon Military Support Network) Tools4Troops supplied ‘job specific’ tool packages to a large number of job seeking Veterans. The modus operandi has Veteran focused employment agencies finding them gainful employment, then turning to T4T to supply the job specific tool needs E.G. Carpentry, Welding and etc.
The Salvation Army is yet another T4T charitable outreach beneficiary, the relationship with Beaverton S.A. Veteran’s Family Center, stems from having supported their residents ‘one on one’ at stand downs. Recently we proposed setting aside a project space for the center’s Veterans to use with T4T supplying automotive and woodworking tools, thus enabling on site car, truck and bicycle maintenance, plus the additional therapeutic benefits. To this end we recently delivered a Craftsman Tool Cabinet containing a large number of automotive & bicycle repair tools plus, a lever operated (2) ton car jack with (4) stands.
Supplying Veterans ‘one on one’ direct requests has also increased, all the more so as Veterans discover T4T’s charitable activities from TV and Radio appearances, Tools4Troops.org website and our FB page.
Highlighting T4T’s charitable outreach KATU Channel 2 in 2016, have repeatedly shown T4T’s November 2015 TV prime time news appearance, with a resultant boost to incoming tool donations. Florida based American Heroes Radio Network chose to follow up our November 2015 nationwide news show with an hour long November 2016 update. Next up was a same month appearance on Lars Larsen radio show and finally on December 21 KGW Channel 8 featured T4T in a (5) minute broadcast on their ‘Oregon Live’ 11.00a production which was repeated on Christmas Day.
The nationwide and local exposure boosted inventory levels and @ time of writing we have tool storage facilities in (4) locations, namely: Portland, Grants Pass, Newport and Vancouver WA.
Most encouragingly throughout 2016 tool donations have witnessed a steady increase to the point that we were able to constantly provide a veritable ‘smorgasbord’ display of tools at the above listed events, while at same time meeting and/or exceeding T4T partners requests for assisting their Veteran’s needs.
Individual and Corporate Donations:
As 2016 draws to a close Tools4Troops PBC, takes this opportunity, to express sincere gratitude to individual and corporate monetary donors without whom our charitable outreach to US Armed Forces Veterans would have been that much more difficult. By same token we express thanks to the following corporate bodies that have provided support in either/or supplying tools, parts thereof and/or vouchers, the latter, being used to purchase, most frequently needed items such as batteries, bulbs, fasteners and cleansing materials:
1. Ace Hardware
2. Contractor's Supply
4. Home Depot
5. Portland Fasteners
6. Rigid Containers
Waste not Want not:
Placing a $ value on tools distributed since T4T’s first ever distribution event of June 10 2014 is no easy task made all the more difficult as >90% of them are ‘2nd time around’ donations, nonetheless, as best we can make out 2016 was a banner year with approx. $100,000.00 of distributions; said figure however reflects our tallying numbers @ say 50% of retail while the value placed in a Veterans hands well, that’s a whole different evaluation which is measured first and foremost in the pleasure derived from a simple act of kindness, there’s your true value and no more need be said.
Estimating volumes and weights of tool donations is similar to placing a $ value against same, if pushed for an answer Stand Downs most likely see >2,000 lbs transported with <250 retained at day’s end, this equates to an average 1,750 lbs x 19 events = 33,250 lbs or 16.5 tons that did not end up in landfills. Notes:
1. Estimate excludes MOU’s (partnerships) and ‘one on one’ deliveries so approx. gross is 20 tons.
2. Tools4Troops refurbishes tools and in so extending their usage, T4T contributes to sustainability.
Suffice to say that Tools4Troops met and/or exceeded set 2016 goals and we will revert with 2017 plans including, but not limited to, attending ‘Stand Downs’ throughout Oregon and neighboring state(s).
Wishing you all a Very Happy New Year,
Pete Wall, President Tools4Troops PBC.
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