The first Repair Cafè in the Mid-Atlantic region opens this Saturday, Jan 18th, in Greenbelt and the one-day event has generated numerous questions about what it is and how it works.
The Cafè is a free community service offered by a volunteer staff to help people repair their damaged or broken goods. The classroom and workshop areas of Club125, located next to the Old Greenbelt Theatre, will be converted into five repair stations. Each station will focus on different types of objects: clothing and fabric items, computers, small appliances, jewelry, and furniture.
Some types of repair work will be made easy simply by having the right tools for the job such as a sewing machine for a ripped shirt sleeve, glue and clamps for a loose chair leg, or silver solder for a damaged earring. Other repair work may need an experienced professional, to rewire electrical connections or to diagnose a tough computer glitch. Some items may need matching materials or spare parts to complete the repair, which the owner may already have. Otherwise, owners will be assisted in ordering the needed parts from local businesses, and repairs can be made at a later date.
Of course, not everything can be repaired. For any such appliances and electronic devices, Club125 will accept the broken items for a week of "take it apart" activities. This is where kids and other curious people rip stuff apart to see what is inside, to examine what makes the device work. At the end of the week, staff will take the pile of e-rubbish to the Public Works facility on electronics recycling day.
Repair Cafè is made possible in part by Club125's receipt of Greenbelt Consumer Co-op's Jim Cassels Award and an eager supporting army of volunteers. To learn more, check out the following links:
- Brighton Repair Café
- The Glorious Feeling of Fixing Something Yourself
- Repair Cafè Toronto
- An Effort to Bury a Throwaway Culture One Repair at a Time
- Repair Cafè Netherlands Foundation
- Repair Cafès Fix Stuff, Bring Communities Together