Founded in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, seven years ago, today there are 1,180 Repair Cafés (https://repaircafe.org/) in 30 countries. Although there are seven Repair Cafes operating in the Hudson Valley (http://www.repaircafehv.org), Orange County’s first was held on Sat., Nov. 19 at the Warwick Valley Community Center, located at 11 Hamilton Ave. in Warwick.
In just five hours, volunteer coaches worked with 40 customers, ranging from a three-year-old to some over 80 years of age. Many more folks dropped by to investigate what happens at a Repair Café, some to kibitz with the coaches and customers over how best to fix a tricky item like a xylophone. The majority of customers were from Warwick, but some came from Florida, Goshen, Greenwood Lake and Monroe.
Coaches included: Barbara Barron, mechanical and electrical; Bob Berkowitz, mechanical and electrical; Joan Bono, stuffed animals; Julia Calderon, clothing and textiles; Steven Carras, knife and tool sharpening; Jerry Fischetti, mechanical and electrical, who was celebrating his 88th birthday; Pat Foxx, who made coffee and kept the snacks organized; Ab Hamdoun, electronic and digital; Dan Mack, set-up, troubleshooter and photographer; Deanne Singer, clothing and textiles; and Edwin Winstanley, wooden things and baskets.
Upcoming Repair Cafes are planned for 2017 and volunteers are still needed for everything from donated baked goods to checking customers in and seeing that they fill out the forms properly. Repair coaches are always needed. Repair Cafes will be held on the third Saturday of every other month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The last repairs are accepted at 1:30 p.m. The next café will be held on Sat., Jan. 21 at the Warwick Senior Center, located at 132 Kings Hwy. in Warwick. Additional 2017 dates, same time and same location, are: Sat., Mar. 18, Sat., May 20, Sat., Jul. 15, Sat., Sept. 16 and Sat., Nov. 18.