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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Umbrella of the Capital District, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Centers to Support the Independence of Specific Populations, Homeless & Housing, Housing Rehabilitation, Human Services, Senior Centers, Senior Citizens Housing & Retirement Communities, Seniors

Mission: To provide affordable, quality home maintenance and other support services so that senior citizens and disabled homeowners throughout the Capital District of New York State keep the two things they cherish most...their homes and their independence.

Results: Currently serving more than 500 households throughout the Capital District of New York State.

Target demographics: Senior Citizens and people with disabilities.

Direct beneficiaries per year: More than 500 senior and/or disabled households

Geographic areas served: Capital District of New York State

Programs: Handyman help, transportation, grocery shopping for the home bound, housekeeping, information and referral, 24-hour emergency home repair assistance.

Community Stories

50 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

To readers - I have been a handyperson for Umbrella since June 2019, and in this short period of time have seen firsthand the value of this organization to our senior population and am very proud to be part of it. Ron and the staff in the office are very supportive, caring people whose clear objective is to assist seniors to remain in their home, providing necessary domestic services as needed. I share this view totally, as having worked in a nursing home for over 12 years (and still do), have sat with countless incoming and existing residents (especially ladies) who not only suffer the loss of their loved one, but now must face entering a nursing home and vacating their home as well. While all isn't necessarily bleak about this (there are some advantages), most would agree they'd do almost anything to remain in their home in lieu of this. We all know most family members try to assist as they can, but many are part of the sandwich generation, who still have young people at home, and trying to care for an aging parent is nearly impossible-regardless of their intentions. Enter groups like Umbrella, who do their best to make up the difference. As a retired senior myself and still working p/t, I am once again, very proud to be part of this organization and will continue to be a handyperson for them for as long as I'm physically able.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. Mike Hurley

Review from Guidestar

Edward B.1

Client Served

Rating: 4

Recently my Umbrella man wasn't satisfied with the output of mowing my tall grass backyard using my battery operated mower.

So the next day he returned with his gas powered mower and did a terriffic job of eliiminating the tall grass. We were both very pleased with the result.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Don't get me started on talking about Umbrella; I'll never stop. It is impossible to convey the benefits my sister and I [and now I alone] have received from being Umbrella clients. No matter what help we called Umbrella for, our needs were met just about immediately. We could not have asked for more pleasant and capable people willing to give us the help we needed. I have recommended Umbrella to several "older" friends and acquaintances who mentioned needing assistance with something. Every one of those people called me after their own dealings with Umbrella and "staff" with high praise for the service and servicers. cg

Review from Guidestar

Diane H.3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am so grateful for Umbrella. As a recent new homeowner, I know all I have to do is call Umbrella whenever I have a problem with my house or work to be done. All of the handymen are very knowledgable and respectful, and you cannot beat the price. I also love knowing that in the event of an emergency, I can call Umbrella 24 hours/day. That gives me great peace of mind.

Review from Guidestar

Previous Stories
1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Umbrella has been an absolute lifesaver for me! I bought a house in 2017 and at the same time started having a painful flare-up of plantar fasciitis. A coworker recommended Umbrella, and I signed up soon after. Over the last year, I have had several handymen come out and do maintenance projects for me at a very reasonable price. But the best part is the peace of mind I feel knowing I can call Umbrella anytime day or night if something goes wrong at my house. This is truly a first-rate organization.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a paid volunteer for Umbrella, I've had the pleasure of meeting many seniors over the past 4 yrs & enjoy greatly doing things to help them, wether it is driving to appts or cleaning, etc. Never realized the needs till I got involved. Wonderful services provided.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been with Umbrella since it was first conceived, launched and celebrated.
I felt I had found another brother, a brother who was put here for the express purpose of watching out for me. And, sure enough, it strikes me that way now. It's still here and it's still here to "watch my back. - M. Hatfield

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband has been an Volunteer for many years now. He enjoys helping the people. He no longer does the "heavy lifting" leaving it to the younger volunteers. However, he does perform many services that the clients need. This work with Umbrella keeps him active physically and mentally. He also earns some compensation at $15 per hour paid by the client. The staff at Umbrella are excellent.

As a wife of an Umbrella volunteer, I have seen what an impact the organization has had on the Community. It
enables the people aging to stay in their home. I, myself, have a house cleaning person from Umbrella. She does an excellent job and very pleasant and personable.

We have recommended Umbrella's services to many people who had not known they even existed. The word
has gotten out and more people know of Umbrella the last few years. I have never heard of anyone dissatisfied
with their services from the people we pointed in their direction.

Umbrella is a GREAT organization!!

Review from Guidestar

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

After my husband became involved as a handyperson with Umbrella of the Captial District, I learned the full extent of their services and the impact on the senior community in the area. I volunteered to do survey calls to the members in regard to customer satisfaction. By doing the survey calls, it could be determined what, if any, negative thoughts the members had and how Umbrella personnel could correct them. In all honesty, in conducting my survey calls, there is a very small per centage of negativeness presented. The members do present good positive re-enforcement. They also submit positive suggestions to make the services even better than they are. I wish every community had an organization like Umbrella of the Capital District to serve their area. Umbrella of the Capital District gives the senior residents peace of mind that they can face the challenges that arise from aging and staying in their own homes.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I retired a few years ago but wasnt ready to sit on the couch. I found Umbrella and it sounded intriguing, a far cry from the cubicle world. It has been very rewarding, you can decide what tasks you want to perform, set your own hours and the Clients are SOOOO appreciative of even the little things you do.
One of my most rewarding days was showing up to one Client's house for the first time and smelling an obvious natural gas leak. Luckily it was an outside meter connection. Being a bit elderly, she could not smell the leak. We called the utility, they showed up in minutes , verified the leak and made the repair. That was in Nov '18. It is now Aug '19 and the Client is still thanking me for finding the leak. Now that's a rewarding day.
As for my advice : get off the couch, contact Umbrella, start working a make a difference in someone's life.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have worked for umbrella since 2004 and have experienced many satisfied customers. Umbrella's ability to match workers with customers is very uncanny.
I thank umbrella for the opportunity to help satisfy their customers.

Review from Guidestar

Linda Somberg S.

Client Served

Rating: 5

my husband and i are huge fans of this program, umbrella of the capital district. we have been grateful members for two years and have always been more than happy with the entire process, from calling in a problem that needs fixing to getting it resolved. the people who answer the phones are friendly and efficient, very professional. every one of the workers who has come to the house, including plumbers, electricians, a small engine repair person to basic handy-people have been wonderful. this program is the best -- affordable and extremely helpful in keeping us in our home. i wish my friends and family in other states had this. we sing the praises of this umbrella program all the time.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

this is my second year as a volunteer with Umbrella. Umbrella does a world of good serving our seniors. I have developed a handful of weekly members who look forward to seeing me (and I them) every week & truly appreciate the assistance I am able to provide. I usually chit-chat with the folks I am helping for a few minutes before getting to work, usually following up on their week, their families, any concerns I need to be aware of, and catching on on each others jokes. I initially started out mowing lawns, but that quickly developed into all kinds of yard work, staining decks, washing windows, changing light bulbs, hanging bird feeders, and a number of other chores. Chores that have become harder to tackle for our senior citizens. It is truly a warm and wonderful experience for me to know that I am helping people who really need help with basic daily projects we all take for granted. I was looking for a volunteer organization to become involved with when I retired, and a friend referred me to Umbrella, and Umbrella has worked very well for me. The staff at Umbrella is always helpful, the seniors I work with are wonderful, and I truly look forward to my weekly visits helping people move forward with their daily lives while still living in their own homes. I certainly hope to continue with Umbrella for many years to come.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I've been using Umbrella services for over 10 years, since my husband died. I can't do any heavy work due to orthopedic problems. If it wasn't for the services provided by Umbrella, I wouldn't be able to keep up my home.
The people who have provided services are very competent and pleasant. On a rare occasion when I have had a problem with a service person, the issue was resolved by Umbrella promptly.

I find the office personnel very friendly and responsive to any need that I have that the organization is able to provide.

Twice I've had an emergency (water pipe broke) very early in the morning and a plumber was dispatched immediately to take of the situation.

I heard of Umbrella through a neighbor who used the service -- and still does. I have recommended Umbrella services to many others.

Review from Guidestar

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

My wife and I are trying to stay in our home of almost 50 years and it becomes more difficult as we age. I did most of the upkeep and renovations on my house myself and had my own handyman business for a number of years. But now as I look out my window I see projects and upkeep not being done to health problems.It is very frustrating not to be able to do what you used to do easily. When I heard about Umbrella I met with Brian and soon became a member. They have helped with a number of projects and now I can look out my window and feel pride that my home is being taken care of. The reduced labor cost helps to do things on a fixed income that might not be possible at market priced labor. Umbrella gives us peace of mind we can continue to enjoy our home.

Review from Guidestar

Previous Stories
1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I always did my upgrades and maintenance with a helper who did all the basic work while I did the difficult things.I m no longer able to do many of the things I used to do and when I lost my helper to a heart condition I was afraid I would no longer be able maintain my home.It is difficult to pay the current labor rates on a fixed income and the dollars don't go far.When I found Umbrella it was a God send to be able to get things done at a affordable cost and be able to stay in my home of 48 years.I am a relatively new member but all my experiences have been positive.I don't know about other areas of the country but every area should have an organization like Umbrella to help us seniors .

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What a great organization! I have volunteered through Umbrella for several years. By providing assistance to those that can't do what seem to be simple tasks, they are helping people remain in the comfort of their homes and not have to move to care facilities.

Review from Guidestar

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been a supporter of Umbrella for decades. They always had the best fundraisers, using lots of umbrella themes! I rapidly came to the age group that this awesome agency serves. Bingo! With Ron Burns in my kitchen describing the overwhelming task of downsizing, I joined Umbrella with the huge goal of downsizing and selling a two family home, and moving into an accessible apartment to prepare for surgical procedure. I know I will miss many names but I started with a Paul M, and spent hours with Ron H. who so kindly worked with me to empty many closets, attic, and basement of my many “treasures”.
I am now in my fully accessible apartment (no more circular back stairs) to climb. I am sporting a super new hip, and have settled in with the help of Brian M a wonderful carpenter who built me shelves, put in my hand rails, and hung my photos. Thanks to Ty M and Nancy F for their early help. Now working with Ona, who has been delightful in helping me with my new place as I’m still recovering. Thank you all for helping me reach my goal. Lastly the wonderful office staff, Valerie and John always kind and helpful. Filling my request almost within hours.. Thank you all. Maryellen Rudolph

Review from Guidestar

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been a member of Umbrella for several years. I would be lost without their help. I use handymen for lawn maintenance, gutter cleaning, and clearing my dryer vent. The plumber was here several times working on my hot water tank and garbage disposal. And then there’s the electrician who has helped me too.
I cannot day enough positive things about this organization. Very glad I found them and don’t know where I’d be without them!

Review from Guidestar

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

This program is a life changer for myself and my daughter, both disabled. We've been members for a couple years now. Tom is a life saver for yard help and handyman type stuff, while Dan is right on top of those pesky snow falls and keeps our drive and walk ways clear so everyone is safe. We've had house cleaners too, which worked out great. The list of available help we can get is amazing for a nominal yearly fee. We'd be lost without our Umbrella!

Review from Guidestar

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My wife and I have been members for about 1 year and have relied on help with snow blowing. Kenny has been very helpful, cordial and reliable. We anticipate using the service for more projects around the house. Highly recommended!!

Review from Guidestar

1

Volunteer

Rating: 3

I am glad i finally signed up with the umbrella.their service is affordable friendly and you can talk about things you may have concerns about and it wil be followed up. I recommend this company to the single women in the community

Review from Guidestar

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Umbrella allows me to live well AND within my means, in my lovely home. I am disabled with chronic pain that makes many activities of daily living impossible or extremely difficult.

With no judgment, before I was granted SS disability, Umbrella gave me the lowest membership rate, and sent me a life-saving house cleaner named Sandy. She's been my partner in maintaining my home now for over two years. A retired educator herself (as am I), she's got the strength that I don't have, and for modest recompense, keeps my home lovely. This weekly help, plus lowered rates on plumbers, handi-workers, etc, as needed, means that I can keep up with maintaining the appearance and value of my home. I also have roommates to make ends meet, and with Sandy cleaning all the public areas, that keeps the household running smoothly and pleasantly among us.

Every encounter with Umbrella feels respectful and is helpful. I am treated like a client, not a charity case.

I cannot say enough. I'd been living in a tiny, dull apartment somewhere without their help.

Review from Guidestar