Tool Box Volunteers and Umbrella of Colonie Handyman join at the Tool Box at 1693 Central Ave. to celebrate the six month anniversary of the Tool Box and talk about the successes of both of the programs. Photo submitted
The Tool Box—a donation based, volunteer run, tool resale shop—celebrated its six-month anniversary with a breakfast for the dedicated Tool Box volunteers and handymen who work for Umbrella.
Since opening its doors in October 2015, the Tool Box has shown growth in support through donations, volunteers manning the shop and revenue in sales. The Tool Box currently has 15 volunteers that work Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. cleaning, pricing and stocking the tools. Many of these volunteers also work for Umbrella of Colonie as handymen and women, helping seniors in the community to remain independent and in their own homes for as long as possible.
In the beginning stages of planning for the Tool Box, Colonie Senior Service Centers’ Executive Director Ed Neary had three main goals to accomplish: a funding source to feed back to Umbrella members who need help but can’t afford it; a place for seniors looking to downsize to donate their tools to other appreciative tool lovers; and a “handyman hangout” for tool lovers and handymen to gather and have a place connect over a cup of coffee. So far, the Tool Box has not only met, but exceeded these goals.
“Over 3,000 seniors in Colonie live on less than $14,000 a year. Many of these people struggle to remain in their own homes, but that is where Umbrella of Colonie and the Tool Box come in,” said Neary, “Umbrella offers security to seniors who may not be able to afford or trust outside contractors and handymen for their repairs. The Tool Box supplements this by making Umbrella sustainable and helping members with their payments.”
The Tool Box is located at 1693 Central Ave. in Albany. All proceeds made at the Tool Box support the Umbrella of Colonie home maintenance program of Colonie Senior Service Centers, Inc. to help seniors with the cost of handyman repairs in their homes and yard.
The Tool Box is a program of Colonie Senior Service Centers—an independent, community based non-profit serving the largest population of seniors in the Capital District.
— Colonie Senior Service Centers