Our Tool Ninja Kevin who brings in the most delicious muffins for his shifts at OTL.
“I’ve been volunteering with the tool library for almost two years. I became a volunteer as a consequence of a friend of mine passing away. His wife asked for me to do something with all of his tools. So I brought all of his tools home and I catalogued them and I contacted his children and they didn’t want anything. So I was left with a full shop of my own tools plus a full shop of his tools and nothing to do with them. I had heard Betina (co-founder of OTL) interviewed on the radio and came down here to donate all of my friend’s tools and I thought “well, this is kinda neat”. I immediately was interested in volunteering. I started volunteering as a tool ninja and then a couple of months after that I took the role of ninja coordinator. So essentially, I recruit and train all of the tool ninjas. I’m a life-long maker, renovator, was brought up in a household where my father always fixed all of his own stuff so I was kinda brought up with that ethic. I know a little about a lot of things!
Last winter, a young girl came in here with her father. And she had had an idea that she and a friend of hers could have their own business making holders for tea lights. She thought they we could figure out a way to do that and that we would have the tools and that her dad could borrow the tools and basically she could direct him on what she wanted and her and her friend could sell it. She was so full of fire and so empowered with the opportunity. So they borrowed a chop saw and a drill press and they went away and I never really thought about it since… well last weekend, we had a craft fair in here and one of the other volunteers in here had bought some lip balm. He said I had to go check this booth out. He said they had all these products made out of wax and its two kids in this sea of adults out there and they’re selling stuff. So I went out and it was the same little girl and her friend. All of the stands that they had made were made with tools that her father had borrowed from the tool library, they had the tea light holders that she had designed, they mold their own candles, they make organic beeswax lip balm and they were out there just rocking it. Just so excited. Just grinning and so engaged. So here’s two kids that are probably 12 years old. They came in here and were empowered to do it on their own, with tools that they didn’t have to go out and buy. It just lit me up. I was on cloud nine afterwards. To me, it’s the entirety of why we do this. What more do you want then to empower a couple of kids to go off and do stuff?”