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April 13, 2017

Philly nonprofit that hires disadvantaged can't afford to replace stolen power tools

A Philadelphia organization that employs disadvantaged people to help solve the city's blight problem needs help replacing power tools that were stolen from a job site.

Philadelphia Community Corps, a nonprofit, said on Facebook Thursday afternoon that all of its power tools at the site were taken overnight.

Greg Trainor, executive director of Philadelphia Community Corps, said in a Twitter message that they locked up the building they were working on, located near 52nd Street and Haverford Avenue, around 4:15 p.m. Wednesday.

When his crew returned the next morning, their tools were scattered about in a strange manner. Eventually, Trainor realized the power tools — worth more than $2,000 — were gone.

"That's not a lot to some companies, but we're a 2.5-year-old, startup, job-training nonprofit," Trainor said. "Over $2,000 of tools is a big deal for us."

Trainor founded Philadelphia Community Corps in 2014 after getting the idea from a job he had in New Orleans deconstructing and rebuilding homes ravaged by Hurricane Katrina, according to an Inquirer profile.

His mission, along with partner Alex McNeil, is giving a tax-deductible option for developers to take down homes piece by piece, instead of all at once with a wrecking ball, sidestepping consequences like pollution and blight.

The organization also aims to hire those in need of employment, like high school dropouts and those recently released from jail, and give them job training.

Just like developers can write off building materials when employing Philadelphia Community Corps, anyone who donates one of the stolen power tools can deduct it from their taxes. A full list of the stolen tools is here.

Trainor said he filed a police report and that officers suggested checking local pawn shops and possibly buying security cameras for their jobs sites, the latter of which he says they "can't afford."

Those wishing to donate can email Philadelphia Community Corps at You can also donate through PayPal

(h/t, Sam Newhouse)