Carpenter Profile: Orlando Garcia

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The carpenters we work with in Central America are provided tools and training. In exchange, they sign an agreement that they will put the tools to good use in expanding their business and serving their communities. They also agree to provide hours of community service and plant trees. Below is a report about one of our carpenters, Orlando Garcia.

Orlando has expressed that he has been blessed with the tools he received last year from Tools for Opportunity. Work has been really good as he has stayed busy. He received a table saw kit along with a new drill and other great tools. He has been able to grow in his business as he admits that the tools he received have helped him complete pieces faster. Three weeks after the training workshop ended, he build a table saw according to plans he received from Randy and Gene and he loves it. He admits to have made one modification to the original plans: He  used a solid wood piece for the top rather than plywood. The reason for this is because he says that due to the humidity and heavy pieces of wood, the plywood tends to bend.

Orlando recently made a closet for one of his clients. In addition to this he has also made tables, beds, windows and chairs. As for his community service work, he has worked in two different schools. In one he provided 24 hours worth of work where he built two tables — the School provided the wood and Orlando provided his labor. For the other School, he provided 25 hours worth of work where he also build two tables and installed a division wall for a classroom. Again, he just provided the labor. Orlando also mentioned that he spent two days painting school desks for a third School where they bought the paint and he provided his work. As for the trees, he has planted 5 cedar trees and for the upcoming winter, he hopes to plant many more of the same kind.

The photos show the compressor, a window he is working on, as well as a chainsaw he recently purchased. Orlando was very happy to hear that you will visit again on March, as he says he will demonstrate to you he has honored the agreement fully.

Below is a video thanks from Orlando.

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Right around Thanksgiving, I start listening to Christmas music. It puts me in the frame of mind to recall pleasant memories of family gatherings and look forward to the food and fellowship.

This time of year, I’m also thinking about how our gifts of time, tools, and dollars can help out our craftsmen in Central America. I’ve had the pleasure of making two trips to El Salvador recently. On both trips, I was able to provide woodworking training to several craftsmen on behalf of Tools for Opportunity. These are folks that work very hard to provide for their families and help their communities. It’s an emotional experience to see how much they appreciate our time and effort to help them.

MauricioGuys like Mauricio, for example. Here’s a guy with a humble shop outdoors with not much more than a tin roof to keep out the rain. We were able to provide training and tools for him to expand his woodworking business. Only a year later, he’s got plenty of work to keep him busy. He’s built up quite a reputation as a woodworker for building doors, cabinets, and other items.

A little goes a long way with these craftsmen. They appreciate the smallest things and learn to make do with whatever they have. That’s why it’s important that you consider donating to Tools for Opportunity. Your cash provides tools and training. And if you or someone you know has old tools that aren’t being used, contact us to arrange donating them. Your cash and tool donations are tax-deductible.

As you prepare for the holiday season, take a moment to reflect on the blessings in your life — and how you can be a blessing to others.


Providing tools and resources for deserving craftsmen

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