Learn to save time and money at the ‘Fix-it Fair’

If you missed the first Portland Fix-it Fair back in November, take heart! The last outer East Portland event of the season is still ahead, on February 25 …

In the Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood at Ron Russell Middle School, the school’s atrium was filled with exhibitors at the first Portland Fix-it Fair of the season.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Now a long-standing tradition, the traveling free Fix-it Fair series helps folks learn simple ways to save money, and connect with experts who teach how to spend less and stay healthy

The first Fix-it Fair of the season, produced by the Portland Bureau of Planning & Sustainability (BPS), was held on November 11 at Ron Russell Middle School. It hosted some 1,600 people who toured booths, watched demonstrations, and sat in classes taught by experts.

BPS Outreach Coordinator Bill Beamer pauses for a moment with Ron Russell Middle School SUN School Site Manager Anthony Zafra.

“As in past years, here in the exhibit hall area people from all kinds of agencies and organizations are providing information and resources that deal with health, home repairs, and utilities, gardening, yard maintenance, information that helps with home finances – a whole host of things,” smiled BPS Outreach Coordinator Bill Beamer, at the November event.

“The Fix-it Fairs are about helping foster healthy people, healthy families, and healthy communities,” Beamer told East Portland News.

At each of these fairs, guests can expect to find as many as 60 organizations on hand, and about 30 one-hour workshops being held on a wide variety of topics, he said.

People visiting this Fix-it Fair gain valuable information, and get product samples, from dozens of exhibitors – such as Portland Water Bureau Senior Administrator Specialist Korya Ames.

Topics covered include:

  • Weatherization
  • Health and Nutrition
  • Water and Energy Savings
  • Recycling
  • Yard and Garden Care
  • Community Resources
  • And, learn at Workshops [CLICK HERE to see the list]

“But there’s even more!” Beamer reminded. “Entry to Fix-it Fairs is free, and includes a free lunch, free on-site childcare, and door prizes given away every hour.”

Repair PDX volunteer Richard Sato reassembles an electric coffee pot he’s just repaired.

And, referring again at the upcoming February fair on February 25, from 10:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m.: Bring one article of clothing to be fixed by a Repair PDX volunteer, while learning how to do it yourself, Beamer reminded.

“The best part of a fix-it fair for me is being able to work with community organizations who want it really serve people in these neighborhood areas,” Beamer remarked.  “Because of these organizations’ commitments, people come here and connect with them. And when that happens, it makes these fairs worthwhile.”

Mark Oliver, from Metropolitan Family Service, begins a free workshop called “Debt-free Living”.

On February 25, visit the FREE Fix-it Fair from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. It’s all happening at Madison High School, 2735 NE 82nd Avenue.

© 2017 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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