First – and last – ‘Fix-it Fair’ events held in outer East Portland

They kicked off their season in Parkrose. Read this, and find out where the last Portland Fix-it Fair will take place on February 21 …

Freshman Peter Phan shows his “Bronco Spirit” by volunteering to greet folks at the front door of Parkrose High School, as they arrived at the first-of-the-season Portland Fix-it Fair in November.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

The 28th season of the Portland Fix-it Fairs began on November 22 at Parkrose High School.

While that one took place a couple of months ago, this becomes an important story now, since there’s another Portland Fix-it Fair coming to outer East Portland next week! Read on and learn more.

City of Portland Bureau of Planning & Sustainability Outreach Coordinator Bill Beamer explains the ongoing popularity of the Fix-It Fair.

“The Portland Fix-it Fairs have been held for nearly three decades because they are help so many people in so many ways,” smiled City of Portland Bureau of Planning & Sustainability Outreach Coordinator Bill Beamer.

“I’ve seen this first-hand, having been directly involved for the last three seasons,” Beamer told East Portland News.

“We have so many resources here to help people save money, live healthier, and connect with community resources,” Beamer pointed out. “And, it’s also an opportunity to come out and be with neighbors and friends, and have fellowship, and see each other.

“This makes it both an educational and a social event for many people, Beamer added.

Exhibitors from governmental, public service, and nonprofit agencies talk with Fix-it Fair visitors.

Representing the East Portland Neighborhood Office is volunteer, and Hazelwood Neighborhood Association Chair, Arlene Kimura.

At November’s first Fix-it Fair of the season, 60 exhibitors were set up in Parkrose High’s atrium. And, in classrooms, instructors were giving a total of 35 workshops during the day.

“We also have free child care,” Beamer said. “And, there are free basic bicycle repair volunteers who are tuning up bikes at the Fix-It Fairs.

“Repair PDX” volunteer Angela Creais is ready to repair garments, using her vintage sewing machine, at the on-site Repair Café, featured at this Fix-it Fair.

“New this year is the Repair Café workshop,” observed Beamer. “This is an area where people can bring everything from broken zippers or clothing that needs sewing, to small appliances needing repair. We can’t guarantee the volunteers can fix absolutely everything, but many people walk away with smiles after having their item repaired – for free.”

Parkrose High Bronco Booster  Hoi Tran, and student volunteers TP Nguyen and Nhumy Nguyen serve free lunches.

Holding his son Isaiah, visitor Robert Eaton learns more about the services and items provided by “Free Geek”.

Zenger Farm “Healthy Eating on a Budget” Intern Yana Velasquez demonstrates how to prepare fresh, tasty food.

“What I enjoy is that each Fair ‘picks up the character’ of the community in which it is held, helping people really connect,” Beamer commented. It’s so great to see people coming, participating, having conversations, learning, and growing.

“But really, the best thing of all, for me,” opined Beamer, “is watching people enjoy themselves while they learn new options for a better and healthier life for themselves and their families.”

Multnomah County Weatherization Specialist Jacob Padon explains optimizing the performance of furnaces at a Fix-it Fair workshop.

February 21 Fix-it Fair in Hazelwood

This longtime event returns from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. today. At this FREE event, that includes a free lunch, people can learn about many helpful topics.

These include ongoing exhibits and hourly workshops on such topics as:

  • Water and energy savings,
  • Safe and healthy home,
  • Food and nutrition,
  • Neighborhood and community resources,
  • Recycling,
  • Weatherizing your home,
  • Gardening and growing your own food,
  • Yard care and composting, and
  • Transportation.

 

They also have free giveaways, Hourly door prizes and free professional childcare. Learn more at their website: CLICK HERE. Or, for more information or to receive email notification for future Fairs, call 503-823-4309 or email fixitfair@portlandoregon.gov. It’s held at David Douglas High School, 1001 SE 135th Avenue, 97233.

© 2015 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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