It is with a heavy heart that we write to tell you about a series of break-ins at our beloved DC Tool Library at Twin Oaks. Over the course of the last week our building was broken into multiple times and thousands of dollars worth of tools were stolen.

As many of you know, the DC Tool Library is run entirely by volunteers. Since 2020, we have been empowered by DC residents’ tool donations, and in turn, we have provided free access to tools for home repairs, maintenance, gardening, and much more as a way to empower our neighbors to fix and improve their homes and communal spaces. This incredibly valuable community resource is now in jeopardy.

In the break-ins, we lost about $11,000 worth of professional-grade power and hand tools. While we filed a police report and pursued every possible avenue to get the tools back, we expect the losses to be permanent. But this will not stop us. We know that a project rooted in community and sharing will make DC a better, safer space for everyone. 

We are reaching out to ask for your support to help the DC Tool Library get back on its feet. We have started a Tool Recovery Fund with a goal of raising $15,000 to replace the stolen tools and improve security to prevent future break-ins.

No amount is too small—whether you can give $5, $50, or $500, your contribution will make a difference in rebuilding this vital community resource. Click here to donate.

We’d also love to hear about how the tool library has been a valuable resource for you—email us at dctoolshare@gmail.com.

As we regroup and figure out our next steps, we will unfortunately be closing the Twin Oaks branch for the time being. We plan to reopen with plenty of gardening tools ready to welcome spring’s arrival. Additionally we’re working hard to re-open our Ward 7 tool library, and are looking for additional spaces to host our library. Decentralization will make us more resilient and make our tools available to more residents.

The DC Tool Library has always been about more than just tools: It represents a spirit of community, collaboration, and empowerment. We cannot let this setback defeat us. With your support, we are confident we can come back stronger than ever, serving our immediate neighborhoods and the wider city for years to come.

In addition to our recovery fund, please consider becoming a supporting member of the tool library, which helps us cover tool repair and recurring costs. If you live nearby and have information about the break-ins, please contact us at dctoolshare@gmail.com.

Thank you for your support and for being part of what makes our community so special.

—The DC Tool Librarians


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