TSA at Upstate New York’s Albany International Airport (ALB) partnered with Colonie Senior Service Center by donating tools abandoned at their airport’s checkpoint to Tool Box, a volunteer operated non-profit and donation based tool resale shop that helps people in need.
“The local airport public relations representative reached out to our local Program Specialist Kelly Schoonmaker to provide information on the program and she in turn reached out to me, as the Accountable Property Officer about how we dispose of our voluntary abandoned property (VAP),” said Coordination Center Officer/VAP POC Ronald Babbitt.
VAP represents the voluntary abandoned property of prohibited items found in carry-on bags that passengers surrender at the checkpoint when unable to properly dispose of or return the items to their vehicle.
“We encourage our travelers to avoid having to surrender prohibited items at the checkpoint by always inspecting their carry-on luggage before they leave for the airport,” said Philip Calderone, CEO of the Albany County Airport Authority. “We also offer one final option that allows travelers to purchase a U.S. Postal Service mailer at our Information Desk and mail their prohibited items back to their home.”
When prohibited items surrendered as VAP at the checkpoint get separated, tools and other items that the
Tool Box could use are now being donated. Any property such as club like-items, daggers or anything that
could be considered a weapon are still sent to the warehouse at HQ.
“After hearing about the Tool Box, we thought it would be ideal to partner with the non-profit to put these items to good use right here in our community,” said Federal Security Director Bart R. Johnson.
“Kelly and I researched the Management Directives on donating the VAP in lieu of abandonment or destruction. She reached out to the Tool Box and inquired if they were interested in our tools that were surrendered,” explained Babbitt. “The Tool Box volunteers spoke with their director, and they were more than happy to accept the tools that were surrendered.”
ALB collected nearly 75 pounds of tools over the course of six weeks. The Tool Box volunteers plan to clean the tools and create toolboxes of assorted tools for seniors that need them.
“We know that these tools will be enjoyed by tool lovers and that the proceeds will help our local community members,” noted Johnson.
By TeaNeisha Barker, TSA Strategic Communications & Public Affairs