The Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley, with support from Bolton Local and the Repair Cafe Foundation, hosted a Bolton Repair Cafe on Saturday, January 11 at the Florence Sawyer School in Bolton. We had 74 residents of Bolton and surrounding towns come and find out what a Repair Café is all about, and 32 volunteers to serve them. A bell, which gets run when an item is fixed, was rung many times. Click here to view event photos
At a Repair Café, everything centers on making repairs. Knowledgeable volunteers will help repair items such as clean and mendable clothing, knitted and crocheted items, lamps, small appliances, computers and other electronics, bikes, and toys. They can also sharpen knives, scissors, and garden tools.
 
(Outdoor power equipment cannot be repaired at Repair Cafes held during the winter. Please bring such items to the Bolton Repair Cafe's spring event.)
 
You pay only for needed parts. If you know what parts are needed, please get them ahead of time and bring them to the Repair Café, to save time.
 
Volunteers at the Repair Café will look at all items brought in, and help try to repair them. When the volunteers cannot repair something that is repairable, they will offer suggestions about where to go for repairs.
 
Unlike a "fix-it" shop, where people drop off items to be repaired and continue about their day, the Repair Café is meant to get people involved with the repair process, and create connections with others in the community. People bringing in items for repair are asked to stay while their items are being fixed. They can just watch, help with the repair, fix the items themselves with help from volunteers, or just have a snack and visit with neighbors.
 
Promoting repairs will help reduce mountains of waste. We throw away lots of things that often have almost nothing wrong with them, things that could easily be used again after a simple repair. Unfortunately, many people have forgotten that they can fix things. Repair Café wants to change all that. 
 
The Repair Café is also meant to put neighbors in touch with each other in a new way. Neighbors may discover that a lot of know-how and practical skills can be found close to home. When you repair a bike, a CD player, or a pair of trousers with previously unfamiliar neighbors, you look at them in a different light the next time you see them. Jointly making repairs can lead to connections in the community. Making repairs can also save money and resources.
 
Photos: Steve Jones-D'Agostino, Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley.
 
For more information on the Bolton Repair Cafe, contact co-founder Ray Pfau (shown, above right), a member of the Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley, at 978-779-5545 or ray.pfau@mit.alum.edu. Or, visit www.boltonlocal.org/initiatives/repair-cafe
 
For more information on the Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley, visit www.nashobarotary.org.