On February 22, 2019, Inez Russell, executive director of Waco’s Friends for Life, announced the newest project for the 30-year old organization. Friends for Life opened The Tool Shed, a tool thrift shop at 430 Lake Air Dr. on August 15. 2019. They started collecting Donations and setting up the store on March 30, 2019.
The project is patterned on a successful program in Fairport, NY, which has raised more than $750,000 in its 8-year history for a senior services program in Fairport. The New York program is sharing valuable information with Friends for Life on setting up the new shop. The program will be staffed and managed by volunteers to provide on-going funding for Friends for Life’s work with the elderly and people with disabilities in 45 Texas counties. “We have been blessed with a perfect building in a perfect location,” Russell said, “and, best of all, we can use it at no charge for one year to get the tool shop up and running” The building, she continued, is large enough for the tool shop with space for clients to learn additional life-skills. Russell said the program would offer volunteer opportunities perfect for retirees, both those who know tools and those who don’t. New Hewitt resident Kevin Lane, who worked in the New York program, is already recruiting volunteers and spreading the news that there’s a new home for retired tools in any condition in Waco.