By Liz Nolan, Contributing Writer
Northborough – If you have a broken item, don’t be too quick to throw it away. The Northboro Junior Woman’s Club (NJWC) has partnered with Trinity Church and Repair Café Ambassador Ray Pfau for Northborough’s first Repair Café. The event will be held Saturday, Oct. 14, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Trinity Church, 23 Main St., Northborough.
The idea of the Repair Café is one created by Martine Postma from the Netherlands, and it has now become an international organization. The premise is to bring in volunteers with expertise in repairing a variety of items. The goal is to find alternatives to throwing away something that is broken to reduce waste. In addition, the events build community.
The concept is not to compete with repair shops but to open up connections within the community and network with neighbors.
Tools, materials and know-how will be provided by the specialists at no or little cost to the guest, and the guest is encouraged to be involved with the repair whether to watch or help with the repair. It is not a drop-off event.
NJWC member Laurie LaBrecque saw an article about the Repair Café over a year ago and found one being organized by Pfau for the Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley and Bolton Local, a sustainability group in Bolton. Pfau began organizing the Bolton Repair Cafes in the fall of 2013.
LaBrecque reached out to Pfau and he spoke at a NJWC meeting. The concept falls under the NJWC’s focus area of conservation, so the group was eager to begin coordinating the event.
It is anticipated that repair stations will include small appliances, furniture, jewelry, clothing, knife sharpening, computers, and bicycles. Repairs are typically free of charge; however, the owner of the item will be responsible to pay for larger parts needed to complete the repair.
LaBrecque said that all the experts volunteer their time and enjoy tinkering with things and giving back to the community.
When she scouted out the Bolton set up, she found the volunteers to be very experienced and enthusiastic. Part of the excitement is that there is always an unexpected item that comes in for repair.
“It was well attended, very busy and successful,” she said. “This is a learning experience for us but we are excited to offer this event to Northborough. Our hope is to hold it two to three times a year.”
NJWC is still looking for local volunteers to share their talents for the event. LaBrecque and members of the committee can be contacted at [email protected].