DIY Fair

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Just wanted to share a recent community event we were a part of that might be of interest to some of you. A local high school leadership program selected us (South King Tool Library) as their ‘client’ for a service project that is part of their training. After hearing what we needed to get our library launched, they decided to have a DIY Fair to build awareness, raise funds and help us get our first tool donations.
Here’s what was involved:
  1. We worked with them to get 20 vendors to offer DIY help at booths. Examples: our county solid waste dept. had a mini-repair cafe; a cell phone business helped people fix common phone glitches; Lowe’s showed people how to make their own backyard compost bin for summer gardens; Mary Kay gave demos on ‘smoky eye’ makeup applications (huge hit with teen girls); auto techs showed people how to check fluids and change a tire; the tool library had our booth front and center, where we signed people up for our email list, gave out raffle tickets for tool donations and explained how tool libraries work
  2. There were several craft tables for kids and families to create art and build simple items from kits; one of the kid areas was supervised so parents could browse the booths; there was also a bounce house outside
  3. Every hour kids and adults signed up for the Handy Person Contest; a sponsor purchased birdhouse kits and supplied tools/paint and participants. Each round was 30 minutes. One adult and one child winner got a gift card each time.
  4. Food trucks were outside, and we sold lunch tickets; the trucks donated 20% of sales to the tool library
We live in a small commuter city (85K), to give you some scope. We had 300 people attend, got a truckload of tools, $$ and contact info for new people interested in getting involved in launching our tool library. The event also allowed us to ‘schmooze’ with local businesses and nonprofits to start off on the right foot – as partners, not competitors.
This was an exciting way to introduce ourselves to our community and we hope to make it an annual thing.
Hope this is helpful for others!
South King Tool Library