BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Have you ever wanted to help others, but didn’t have quite what you needed to get the job done?

In Baltimore’s Pigtown neighborhood, there’s a lot of creativity going on to help make good deeds happen during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Supporting those building up the city has long been a part of the Baltimore Community ToolBank’s mission, and even during the pandemic, they’re continuing to do just that.

“The ToolBank is a nonprofit organization that serves the servers,” Noah Smock with the ToolBank said.

Partners can rent out drills, hammers, screwdrivers, saws and other equipment to build projects that benefit the community.


But when COVID-19 forced much of the building to stop, the ToolBank stepped up.

“Our partners are doing a lot more food distribution so we’re doing more of that then we used to in the past in the form of giving the pallet jacks and carts,” Smock said.

Over 100,000 meals have been served since March using their resources. The nonprofit has also supplied vital equipment to three COVID-19 testing sites in the city.

“We’re serving a little bit differently than we would in what would be a normal year, but it’s still very essential,” Smock said.

The way the tool return process works has also changed during the pandemic.

Sensors can detect when an item is near the ToolBank. It’s checked into a system and can be placed down without ever touching anything. It’s then disinfected and placed out of rotation for a few days.

“(It’s) safer, more productive, more efficient, the folks aren’t out there counting through every box, every piece they can automatically see it’s all here,” Jeremy Torok, a vice president of project management for DEWALT, said.

The technology is called Tool Connect, and long-time partner DEWALT is piloting it here before its North American launch as a way to keep community projects, while keeping builders safe.

“What we hope is that anyone who wants to take on an ambitious, community-focused project will have all of the equipment that they need,” Smock said.

If you’re interested in starting a community project with the help of Baltimore ToolBank, click here to learn more.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Stetson Miller


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