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Borrow, Build & Brunch with The Tool Library

The Tool Library, a local nonprofit, is inviting Buffalonians to celebrate the holiday season by joining the organization for its annual Borrow, Build & Brunch fundraiser on Saturday, Dec. 7.

The event will feature food, fun, a basket raffle, a report on what the organization accomplished in 2019, and more. Menu items include pierogi lovingly hand-crafted by Tool Library founder Darren Cotton’s mom, Lynne.

Tickets are $10 for adults and children over 12, and proceeds will support the Tool Library’s operations in 2020 and beyond. The brunch will begin at 11 a.m. on Dec. 7 at St. Joseph University School at 3275 Main St. in Buffalo.

“It’s Giving Tuesday, and we’re hoping that our friends and supporters will consider joining us this week for the Tool Library’s annual fundraiser,” says Hadar Borden, chair of the Tool Library’s development committee. “It’s a great event — it’s so much fun, and the money we raise will help us continue our work in 2020 and after.”

Tickets to Borrow, Build & Brunch are available on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/borrow-build-brunch-2019-tickets-78010640927

The Tool Library, based in University Heights, has served as a vital community resource since 2011.

Tool Library members can borrow from an inventory of over 3,000 tools for as little as $20/year.

The organization maintains thousands of tools that members can borrow for a small annual fee (think pickaxes, pressure washers and power drills).

The Tool Library has put its tools to work on numerous community projects, like transforming a vacant lot at 73 Tyler Street into the Tyler Street Community Garden.

In addition, the Tool Library puts its inventory to work by organizing workshops and service events that leverage its tools. The nonprofit has engaged volunteers in planting 1,000-plus trees in Buffalo, beautifying parks, painting murals and hosting “repair cafes” where people can bring in broken items to be fixed.

The Tool Library also facilitates projects led by other community groups. In 2018, for example, the Tool Library lent over 1,000 shovels, rakes, hammers and other tools to partner organizations, aiding their good work around the city. (See the organization’s 2018 annual report for a summary of recent activities.)

People who would like to support the Tool Library but cannot make it to the brunch can chip in online with a gift.


Borrow, Build & Brunch is sponsored by One Link Ventures; Colligan Law LLP; Lake Effect Diner and The Steer; the University at Buffalo Office of Community Relations; Winspear Liquors; Amy’s Place; the University Heights Collaborative; and University District Council Member Rasheed Wyatt.

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Written by Darren Cotton

Darren Cotton

Darren Cotton works as Director of Community Development & Planning at the University District Community Development Association (UDCDA). His work primarily focuses on housing rehabilitation, small business development, and community capacity building in the neighborhood's surrounding the University at Buffalo's South Campus. Prior to this, Darren served as an Associate Planner at the UB Regional Institute working on a regional sustainability initiative, the remediation of industrial brownfields, and an overhaul of Buffalo's zoning code. As a graduate student at UB, Darren founded the University Heights Tool Library in response to his experience renting from an absentee landlord. With a Bachelor's Degree in International Studies and Linguistics and a Master's Degree in Urban Planning all from UB, Darren works to bridge the gap between research, policy, and grassroots activism and is a firm believer that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.

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