Good Samaritan wants to give back
When I was 12 yr old, my dad (steam fiter) taught me to sweat copper. My joints were never as pretty as his but in many years of home ownership, 100s of plumbing jobs, I never had a leak. Whether plumbing or other jobs, it was for myself. I never worked in the trades. I helped neighbors and friends add lines, replace tanks, etc, but never did it for pay. My career was computers and then management.
Through 50 yrs of home ownership, I have done virtually every kind of DIY project whether electrical, plumbing, remodeling, auto repair or appliance repair. As a result, i have two or three of every tool known to mankind.
A number of years ago, i was downsized from my job and took a job in a box store which i hated. One day a young couple came, saw sign, "Water heaters $300." and "we install". I heard her say, "honey, we can afford that". They had just bought their first home and the hot water tank was leaking. She started to cry when i said the $300 did not include install and since it was a weekend, the cost would be considerable. I asked the husband if he could pick up the tank and get down their basement. He said yes and i told him he was going to install it himself which he was in disbelief.
I asked what tools he had, showed him to shut off gas, water, cut the pipe and use flexible supplies with compression fittings. They bought the tank and left with my home phone number to call if he had problems. He did call with a minor call on how to light the pilot. The next day, they came in she was crying again and hugged me. The experience gave him a great deal of confidence in himself. This made me feel good and was one of few high points working that crappy job.
At this point in my life, I am retired and too old to do physical things. I sure as hell would have trouble wrestling a tank down stairs. Getting down on my knees is murder and crawling under something isn't high my list. My best position for work is if I can get something up on my workbench. I almost enjoy messing with stuff if I sit down to work on it. I still do most of my own "stuff" including recently laying down on the concrete floor to change a drive belt on the dryer. I paid for this in aches and pains for two days.
From exposure to many young people, with some exceptions, they are helpless and at the mercy of tradesmen. Even if tradesmen are fair (most are), in this economy, a repair can be out of the budget for young, struggling homeowners.
I have tools, including torches, cutters and probably a couple hundred various size "spare" copper fittings, valves, pipes, toilet parts and more. When ever i bought stuff, i always overbought because i don't like having to drive back to a store. The same goes for 100s, maybe thousands of screws, bolts and electrical stuff.
So here is my question: How can I find young people (homeowners) who could use my help? I have no desire to charge a penny and if i have needed spare parts fittings, etc, it's theirs. I don't want to help yuppies, driving BMWs. If I am going to donate my time, knowledge, tools, and stuff, I want it to be for someone who needs it.
My thinking is if I can help a young person become a little more self sufficient, who knows, they may even reassess their own situation and not rely on others (government). Maybe it will instill a little common sense when they go to a voting booth.
So how do I reach these people who honestly need help and not looking for a feebie? Remember I want to show them how to do things, not do it for them. I've tried various church and ministries but keep ending up with people who want me to do the work myself. I'm not looking to find the Craigslist killer so that isn't high on my list. Does anyone know of a one on one help forum for people in the same locality?