4/14: Repair Cafe

The NRV TimeBank and Habitat for Humanity of the NRV are teaming up with the Myers-Lawson School of Construction at Virginia Tech to present a Repair Cafe on Saturday, April 14th from 9:00 AM until 3:00 PM at the Habitat ReStore, 1675 N Franklin St, Christiansburg VA.

A Repair Cafe is a free event that promotes repair as an alternative to throwing things away. Visitors bring their broken items in need of repair and the event provides the tools, materials and expertise to help get them back into shape. There were over 100 items repaired at the inaugural New River Valley Repair Cafe in October including an ottoman with a loose leg, a treadmill with a broken control knob, and a commemorative lamp from the 1936 Berlin Olympics which needed rewiring. The organizers of the Repair Cafe reported that 91% of items brought in were repaired at the last event.

Repairer Carl Yates describes his favorite repair from the event in the fall; “It would have to be the folding chair with the damaged plastic guide. I was able to draw a CAD model of the part and make the part on site using a 3D printer.”

Volunteers will be on board to fix small electronics, wooden furniture, clothing, and toys, as well as provide knife and tool sharpening. Members of the NRV Master Gardeners Association will be on hand to help with house plant problem diagnosis and repotting. Students from the Myers-Lawson School of Construction will be making planter pots that visitors can obtain for a donation, and the public are also encouraged to bring in their own pots.

Gillian Rowland, a freshman engineering student at Virginia Tech says; “As an undergrad attending VT, I want to get to know more of the local people and I feel like the Repair Café is a great way to bring the community together. Ever since I arrived at VT seven months ago everyone has been very welcoming and I want to give back to the community that is giving me a home.”

The Repair Cafe will only consider repairing reasonably sized items. Sleeper Sofas, large wardrobes and dressers, etc. will not be admitted.

The event will be held at the Habitat ReStore in Christiansburg and participation is free to the public. “For this event we are on track to have more repairers and more stations at which to do repairs. We also hope to engage the public in taking an active role in repairing their own items this time around. All in all I hope it will be a more participatory event than the one we held last fall” Says Dan Crowder of the NRV TimeBank.