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Event Recap: The Repair Cafe

By Jennifer Ersalesi

The first Repair Cafe in Rutherford took place on Saturday, October 5th at the Rutherford Congregational Church. Brian Hanson-Harding organized the event in collaboration with The Green Team of Rutherford. Hanson-Harding explained, “We performed at least 30 different repairs, had 10 people volunteering as repairers, and Green Team members helped set up and run the event.”

Although not every repair could be made, people who attended seemed to be very satisfied. Hanson-Harding, “We’ve had a number of requests from people who attended, as well as people who were unable to attend, to run this Repair Cafe again. Repairs were done on small items of furniture, jewelry, clothing, small appliances, lamps, and bicycles. We had the biggest demand for repair of bicycles, small appliances, and lamps.” One comment from a feedback form was, “This was a great experience and both of my items - one lamp and one toaster- were fixed. Thank you very much.”

Adian Allshouse and Aran Vlahogiannis at the Lamp Repair table

“Overall, it was a great day, and we accomplished what we set out to do. The Green Team is very thankful to all the volunteers, and especially to Paramus REI and the Rutherford Congregational church,” explained Hanson-Harding. One visitor to the Repair Cafe wrote, “Very informative—repaired bike and showed us how to do it ourselves” on a feedback form.

There was a crafts table where participants could make colorful wind spinners out of plastic water bottles and they enjoyed that activity. There was also a game table as well as coffee, tea, and home-baked goods available for those who attended and worked at the event.

One of the main goals of the Repair Cafe was to teach people that items that are broken can often be repaired and do not have to be thrown away. With the great success of this year’s event, the Green Team and Brian Hanson-Harding are excited about trying to plan another Repair Cafe in the near future.

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