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FYI It’s DIY Nets Haul for Tool Library

Updated: Aug 27, 2019

ALY class members pose with Jon McIntosh (AL '99).

It was uncharted territory, but for the tenacious ALY 2016 learners, that made the challenge exciting.

When presented with a menu of needs from local community organizations last fall, the 2016 youth faced the same tough decision as every Advancing Leadership class: what is the best choice for our team project? That is where the similarity to past projects ended. The class chose to help start a brand new nonprofit – from scratch.

“The project piece of the ALA and ALY programs provides a learning lab to apply new leadership skills. It also gives our learners the chance to partner with an existing organization to advance its work,” explains AL Executive Director Lawrence Garrett. “The tool library was still in development when it was pitched to ALY ’16. They had the unique opportunity to get in on the ground floor – to actually help launch an organization.”

The class chose to help introduce the South King Tool Library to the community with a do-it-yourself themed fair: FYI It’s DIY. They worked closely with the tool library steering committee to determine their greatest needs: tool donation, awareness-building and volunteers. ALY recruited twenty local businesses to offer tips, tools and hacks to help people do everything from fix glitchy cell phones to achieve the perfect ‘smoky eye’. Attendees also enjoyed craft tables, a kids’ zone, a photo booth with tool based props, and great food.  A handyperson contest rewarded the best birdhouse builders with special prizes and a raffle – everyone bringing a tool donation received an entry - gave people more chances to win.

The results? Almost 300 attendees, a truckload of usable tools, dozens of people interested in volunteering with South King Tool Library and invaluable new business connections for everyone involved.

“When we looked at all of the past projects, only one other – the very first One Day Federal Way in 2011 – matched this level of attendance. The difference here is that the work didn’t end when the event was over,” Garrett points out.  “South King Tool Library was able to use this as their community debut. They will continue to benefit as they approach their launch and then build up their regular operations.”

Thank you to all of the event sponsors and businesses who manned the booths and helped make FYI It’s DIY such a success!