Fixes made at Repair Café

Here’s a great resource organization in which volunteers help neighbors fix their broken stuff – for free …

At this outer East Portland Repair PDX “Repair Café”, volunteer Stan Jones works to fix a fan motor controller.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

An organization called Repair PDX has held “repair salons” with other events, such as the Fix-it Fairs, held every year in Parkrose and Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhoods.

But in the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, situated under Plaza 205, the organization held a free-standing “Repair Café” on April 30.

One of the organizers of Repair PDX, Lauren Gross, says she enjoys her part-time volunteer position with the organization.

Repair PDX organizes free events where volunteers come to get their broken items fixed,” explained one of the event’s organizers, Lauren Gross.

“We always say we can never guarantee that we will fix anything that people bring, but we do our best,” Gross told East Portland News. “And, getting these volunteers’ ‘best’, for free, is a very good price!”

Gross said she helped start the organization in May, 2013, after living in the Netherlands, and seeing a group there holding what they called Repair Cafés back in 2008.

“I came back to Portland; I looked around to see if there was anybody doing it here, but there wasn’t,” explained Gross. “Other people who, are like, are into reuse, reclaiming, and repurposing, heard about it through a New York Times article that was written in 2010; and, we decided to start a group here.”

Volunteer Debora Johnson helps a “customer” by mending a jacket on her sewing machine.

Volunteering with Repair PDX is important to her, Gross said, because it helps us more highly value what materials and resources that we have.

In total, there are about 85 people who volunteer with the organization, and have all one or more kinds of skills: Sewing, electronics, electrical things.  “Generally it’s people who like to tinker – mostly fixing appliances and bicycles,” Gross noted.

If you’re interested in fixing things – or just want to know the location and date of the next Repair Café – see their website: CLICK HERE.

> On our Front Page: Volunteer Stan Shaw tries to figure out why this sewing machine isn’t working.

© 2016 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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