Get Involved: Free 2 Teach

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetThis past week our office had the opportunity to give back to our local community through volunteering with local non-profit: Free 2 Teach!

Born from the desire to give back and support local teachers, Free 2 Teach provides free resources to teachers in Madison County’s three public school systems. Supplying free resources to more than 3,800 full-time classroom teachers and their 52,000 students in Madison County, Free 2 Teach has given away over $1.1 million worth of free resources to our teachers, their students and their classrooms since they opened their doors in 2013.

From what started out as a collection of donated supplies in Free 2 Teach Executive Director, Eula Battle’s garage, The organization has grown into operating out of a 10,000SF retail and warehouse space off Leeman Ferry Road.

Which is where we came in.

Supported by a team of dedicated volunteers, Free 2 Teach runs a tight ship. Volunteers are put to work in one of two areas, the warehouse (sorting, logging and organizing donations), or the store (checking teachers in when they arrive, stocking merchandise, ringing the teachers up when they have finished shopping, and helping them load up their vehicles).

And with experienced volunteers to help guide you through each of the duties to be attended to around the shop, no prior experience is needed and new volunteers are always welcome!

Here are just a few images of our time volunteering with Free 2 Teach, if you too are interested in volunteering with Free 2 Teach, you can CLICK HERE to go to their website and sign up to help!

If you’re interested in simply getting more involved in your local community and discovering ways to help, join our quarterly volunteer team by sending an email to lauren@crunkletonassociates.com and we’ll make sure to notify you the next time we volunteer!

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KADIE PANGBURN
MARKETING COORDINATOR
CRUNKLETON & ASSOCIATES
KADIE@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM

Get Involved: CASA Of Madison County

One of my favorite things we do as a company is our quarterly volunteering with local non-profits from around the city.  This quarter we had the privilege to volunteer with CASA of Madison County!

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CASA (Care Assurance System for the Aging and Homebound) is a non-profit organization located in Huntsville, Alabama that provides assistance to individuals age 60 and older and to the homebound (wheelchair and bed bound) of all ages.

The organization’s mission is to enable the elderly and homebound to maintain their independence, dignity, health and safety.  One major way they do this is by ensuring these individuals have access in and out of their homes.  That’s where we came in.

Located just north of Downtown Huntsville is CASA’s warehouse, a streamlined workshop that constructs accessibility ramps.  Sectioned into stations, volunteers arrive at the workshop and are immediately put to work cutting 2×4’s,  framing,  and painting.

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While there, you work to build, cut and frame a stockpile of every element that goes into the  construction of accessibility ramps in the area.  This enables installation crews to simply arrive at the warehouse, load up all the prefabricated, precut sections they need for a build, and be on their way.

While some prior experience with a few basic power tools is a plus, no experience is required to volunteer.   Each station is set up with preset cuts, premeasured lengths and easy to follow templates that allow individuals of all experience levels to quickly jump in and start helping.  And there is always a CASA team member who is standing by happy to show you the ropes and explain each step of the process.

If you’re interested in volunteering with CASA as well, you can find out more information by visiting their website HERE.  You can also connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram!

Interested in joining our volunteer team next time?  If you’re like me, I’ve always loved the idea of volunteering, but just never knew where to start, who to contact, or how to sign up.  Joining our quarterly volunteer team makes it easy!  We’ll search out a great non-profit that needs our team’s help, send out an email blast with all the details and all you have to do is join us on the day of.  What could be simpler than that!?   If you’d like to join our team and be notified the next time we volunteer in the community, just send a quick email to lauren@crunkletonassociates.com.

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KADIE PANGBURN
MARKETING COORDINATOR
CRUNKLETON & ASSOCIATES
KADIE@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM

Could Adaptive Reuse Be The Key To Unlocking Huntsville’s Full Potential?

For those unfamiliar with the term “adaptive reuse,”  basically it’s a fancy way of saying you’re going to find a new use for an old building, or if we want to get more technical about it, “a process by which structurally sound older buildings are developed for economically viable new uses.”

The concept itself isn’t new, but really came into mainstream architectural parlance during the 1960s and 1970s due to the growing concern for the environment.  This, combined with high material costs, difficulties in securing building permits, and the growing preservation movement which was gaining ground due the national attention the grassroots efforts to save SoHo and Penn Statation were receiving in New York City at the time,  “resulted in adaptive reuse becoming a viable alternative to new construction,” stated  Sophie Cantell in an essay on The Adaptive Reuse of Historic Industrial Buildings.

But why? What are the benefits of adaptive reuse over simply building new?

Of course there is the fact that historic buildings help to “define the character of our communities by providing a tangible link with the past,” Cantell stated.  But there are also social and economic benefits to the community as well says Cantell.   “A successful adaptive reuse project can bring redevelopment, heritage tourism, and new life into a community.”

the-huntsville-timesbob-gathany-50da7f22e5f0db2bProof of this is already starting to trickle through our city as successful local adaptive reuse projects such as Lowe Mill are having an increasing impact on our community and new projects such as Campus No. 805 (the old Stone Middle School site) and Huntsville West (the former West Huntsville Elementary School) are popping up.

Here are just a few more creative projects from around the US that are igniting our imaginations right now for how adaptive reuse could have a big impact on Huntsville!

The Pratt Power Plant
Built in 1900, the plant served as the main source of power for the United Railways and Electric Company and later served as a central steam plant for the Consolidated Gas, Electric Light and Power Company and finally shut down in 1973.  Since then the plant has gone under an adaptive reuse to become a mixed-use, office, retail and entertainment facility.
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The High Line
The High Line (also known as High Line Park) was once a portion of the West Side rail line running to the Lower West Side of Manhattan that had been abandoned since the 1980s.   When plans to demolish the disused line caused a community outcry, the High Line went under a creative adaptive reuse to create a 1.45 mile long linear park.
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Olio 
Built in 1937 as an Oil Station, the building went under an adaptive reuse to become a restaurant, complete with original subway tiles and salvaged brick.
Olio Restaurant Exterior; Saint Louis, Mo., owned by Chef Ben Poremba

Rhode Island Mill
Built in 1901 as a textile mill and closing it’s doors in 2001, this old mill went under an adaptive reuse to convert the 102,000 SF building into 63 dwelling units for low income families, complete with a Head Start daycare and business center.
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770 North Point
A parking garage built just after the turn of the century in San Francisco went under adaptive reuse to become a Patagonia clothing store.
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Could projects like this help revitalize more of the Huntsville area and breathe life into the older industrial sectors of our city?   We’d love to know what you think!  Leave a comment below and let us know what Huntsville buildings you’d love to see go through an adaptive reuse!

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KADIE PANGBURN
MARKETING COORDINATOR
CRUNKLETON & ASSOCIATES
KADIE@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM

Get Involved: Lincoln Village

A few weeks ago we left our business suits behind, rolled up our sleeves, donned our best painting attire and headed down to Lincoln Village Ministry to volunteer!

While there, we fell in love with the organization and just had to share our experience with you to help spread the word about all the wonderful things they are doing for our Huntsville community and let you know how you too can get involved!

Lincoln Village Ministry is a non-profit organization that helps to educate, shelter, comfort and serve the underprivileged Lincoln Village community.

millvillagewebFounded in 2002 when Mark Stearns met a little girl sitting outside her dilapidated house in the Lincoln Mills area,  he was invited inside to find living conditions suited more to a 3rd world country than something that should exist just a few blocks away from one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Huntsville.

The little girl’s mother had been beaten by her boyfriend so severely that she had suffered mental retardation and was incapable of caring for herself or her daughter.  The house itself had no running water, electricity or furniture but the family had continued using the facilities, causing the house to gain an extreme foul order.

Heartbroken by the surroundings he saw before him, and knowing that this family was just one of many living in similar conditions in the Lincoln Mills area, Stearns felt called to improve the lives of these people and serve them in any way he could.

Partnering with a local church, Lincoln Village Ministry was born and it’s workers began a mission to break the cycle of poverty they had witnessed.  Word quickly spread and the organization has grown by leaps and bounds.  Presently they not only own and operate their own private school where underprivileged children from the Lincoln Mills Community can receive a 100% free education, be partnered with local community mentors, eat three square meals a day and participate in before and after school programs,  they also provide programs for the children’s parents as well.

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Over the last several years the organization has begun the process of slowly purchasing homes in the area, renovating them and then making them available for rent at prices the families in the neighborhood can afford.

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In addition to the affordable housing, the organization also helps come along side each family with career counseling, personal financial advice, and even cooking lessons to help give them the tools they need to succeed, and their efforts are changing the face of an entire community.

We were so blessed to get involved with this amazing organization and do our best to help out for the day!  If you are interested in finding out how you can get involved with either their student mentorship programs, or other volunteer opportunities, CLICK HERE!  Or, if you’d like to, sign up to join our volunteer team and be notified the next time we help out in the community by sending us an email at info@crunkletonassociates.com!

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Make sure you’re staying on top of the latest trends, newest developments and hottest new stores in Huntsville by subscribing to our weekly blog updates!

404220_10150473102152791_1516819070_nKadie_Sig
KADIE PANGBURN
MARKETING COORDINATOR
CRUNKLETON & ASSOCIATES
KADIE@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM