Credit: Credit: Andrew Shurtleff, The Daily Progress

Volunteers to lend a hand (and tools) at third local Repair Café

For the third time in Charlottesville, volunteers will gather to repair household items, for free, at the Cville TimeBank Repair Cafe, scheduled for October 22nd, noon to 4:00 PM, at the IX Art Park.

“Some people think repair is a lost art,” says Ann Marie Hohenberger, event coordinator. “We like to prove them wrong. We have a great group of people willing to share and teach their skills.”

People from all over the area are invited to bring broken items for free evaluation and repair. Volunteer fixers will bring their tools, give advice, and make repairs – all in an effort to put items back in everyday use and keep them out of the landfill.

The October 22nd event will feature repair stations for small appliances, clothing, jewelry, toys, bikes and other household items.

“When things break, we face a dilemma,” says Hohenberger.

“It can be expensive to pay for repairs, and it’s easier to buy something new. If you can fix something yourself – or get help from a neighbor – you’ll save money and rescue that item from becoming trash.”

The Cville TimeBank, a reciprocal service exchange organization, recruits more than 75 local volunteers for the Repair Café.

“Our members have a wealth of skills to share,” says Cville TimeBank Co-chair Kathy Kildea.

“The Repair Café helps people get out into the community and put their skills to use. It’s great fun for the volunteers.”

Anyone in the community can join the TimeBank. Members earn and exchange “time credits” by helping one another.

Visitors at the Repair Café are encouraged to sit down and watch the repairs – and maybe learn how to do it themselves.

Volunteers from Charlottesville Community Bikes will help visitors repair their own bicycles at the Repair Café. The local non-profit has a shop on Avon Street where community members can use tools and get help fixing their bikes.

Families with children are encouraged to attend. The event will include a scavenger hunt with prizes for kids.

“People have such a fun time at these events,” says Hohenberger. “We can’t wait to do it again.”

Hohenberger expects nearly 300 visitors to attend the event, bringing some 300-500 items for repair.

Some types of items will not be fixed at the Repair Café. Organizers ask attendees not to bring microwave ovens, TVs, or gas-powered equipment.

The Repair Café concept arose in Amsterdam in 2009 and has spread to more than 1,000 locations around the world, coming up with new and creative ways to salvage perfectly usable things.