What is lurking in your cellar? Broken appliances? Wobbly chairs? Lamps that don’t work?

On Saturday, October 14, the Wellesley Rotary Club held a “Repair Café” and put many damaged or broken items back into service.  They are helping to add a 4th “R,” making it Reduce, Reuse, Repair, and Recycle!

Never heard of a Repair Café They are free meeting places that are all about repairing things (together) rather than tossing them out. At the Repair Café event, you’ll find tools and materials to help you make many effective repairs to clothes, furniture, electrical appliances, bicycles, crockery, gadgets, toys, etc. You’ll also find volunteers with repair skills in all kinds of fields. There are currently over 1,300 Repair Cafés worldwide, with more communities joining regularly.

Wellesley's "Repair Café"
Work in progress at Wellesley’s “Repair Café”

Here’s how it works: Registered guest visitors bring their broken items from home. With the help of the volunteer specialists on site, they start analyzing the damage, deciding whether the repair can be done, and then picking up tools to attempt their repairs right there in the Repair Café. It’s an ongoing learning process for everyone. If you have nothing to repair, you can just drop by to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee while you watch and learn. Or you can even lend a hand with someone else’s repair job. You can also get some repair inspiration at the reading table – by leafing through available books on repairs and DIY.

At the Wellesley event, specialists were available to repair the following items:

  • Bikes
  • Electronics
  • Small Appliances
  • Furniture
  • Toys
  • Ripped/Torn Clothing

I brought an electronic ice cream maker that was not working.  Will Biedron (of Needham!) successfully diagnosed the problem, and then fixed it.  While watching Will, I learned a lot about how the appliance worked, which was terrific.  Afterwards, I stayed around for a while to watch Will and the other specialists work on a mixer and several toy trains.  It was a great “can do” atmosphere!

And the Wellesley Free Library had a representative at the event, with a table full of repair books, and some repair-related items from their “Library of Things” such as Toolkit sets.  Minuteman Library card holders could check out a book or a toolkit right there!

The Repair Café will hopefully become a regular event in our area.  Maybe we could even have one in Needham!  So, next time something breaks, don’t throw it away – bring it to a Repair Café!

Wellesley Rotary Club hosts Successful “Repair Cafe”
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