I am a quadriplegic homeowner who has been a member for several years. It wasn't until I started to write this review that I realized just how important Umbrella is to my quality of life. Umbrella cleans my house, takes care of my lawn, has fixed plumbing emergencies, repaired doors and windows, painted, helped me find reliable contractor to fix my roof.. the list goes on. As a wheelchair user who loves the independence of living in my own house but simply can't do many of the things necessary to maintain a home, I rely on Umbrella to keep me safe and secure. One of the best things about the organization is that they know each of their members personally and care about how they are doing. That is pretty extraordinary!
I am an electrical contractor and I became affiliated with Umbrella two years ago when a friend of mine, who is a member of Umbrella, told me about their organization. I called their offices and met with Ron to get more information. I was immediately impressed by Ron's passion to keep senior citizens and people with disabilities from having to leave their own homes and enter a caring facility. Their program is wonderful, it allows seniors and disabled people to stay in their homes with peace of mind that their needs will be met with honest reputable workers at reasonable prices. Umbrella's interview process was thorough, and feedback from their clients, both positive and negative, is addressed right away. The staff, volunteers and workers are freindly outgoing people, and like myself, love to talk with the members while working in their homes. For some clients this may be their only social experience for some time, and it is apparent how much they enjoy the opportunity to chat. I feel that our services (as affiliates) provide more than just the completion of projects that they require, but it is a friendship and trust, as many will request a specific worker to return again in the future. I am honored to work for Umbrella, and I am relieved that as I approach my sunset years in life, I may one day need, and be able to rely on Umbrella to meet my needs.
I joined Umbrella after I retired in 1995. They interviewed me to make sure I was trustworthy and that impressed me. Over the years I have helped many people(old, disabled,or just mechanically inept) by making simple repairs in there homes. It might be as simple as the reset button on a GFI outlet or a new battery in a phone. Without Umbrella these people would be forced to call an electrician.
In 2009, Civic Ventures awarded Umbrella of the Capital District an Encore Opportunity Award for providing meaningful, paid work to people 50+. Out of over 100 applicants, Umbrella was one of eight winners. What's innovative about Umbrella's model is that it matches older adult clients with their peers - fellow older adults pursuing their encore careers - with the end goal of keeping clients living independently in their homes, longer. Umbrella is a terrific organization with a sustainable model.
I am 80 years old and a retired Union College professor. With the recent death of my wife of 46 years I now live alone in a rural setting that I love very much but which challenges my maintenance abilities. With the appearance of my Umbrella associate I have regained the freedom basic to travel and keeping my social and professional network intact. It is wondrous to me that Umbrella could find a person who lives near me who has the diversity of skills to both assist and advise on matters needing attention. I consider Umbrella one of the great social inventions of our region! Carl J. George, Glenville