Posted by Bob Wicks on Oct 22, 2018
The Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley, with support from the Sudbury History Center and the Sudbury Senior Center, hosted a Sudbury Repair Café on October 20, 2018.  This free event was held at Sudbury Senior Center in Sudbury.  Residents of Sudbury and surrounding towns were invited to come and find out what a Repair Café is all about.

At a Repair Café, everything centers on making repairs.  Knowledgeable volunteers help repair items such as clean and mendable clothing, knitted and crocheted items, lamps, small appliances, computers and other electronics, bikes, outdoor power equipment, toys, and jewelry.  They also can sharpen knives, scissors, and garden tools.  Visitors pay only for needed parts, and when possible are encouraged to bring parts with them to save time.

Volunteers at the Repair Café will look at all items brought in, and help try to repair them.  When the volunteers cannot repair something that is repairable, they will offer suggestions about where to go for repairs.

Unlike a "fix-it" shop, where people drop off items to be repaired and continue about their day, the Repair Café is meant to get people involved with the repair process, and create connections with others in the community.  People bringing in items for repair are asked to stay while their items are being fixed.  They can just watch, help with the repair, fix the items themselves with help from volunteers, or just have a snack and visit with neighbors.

Promoting repairs will help reduce mountains of waste.  According to Repair Cafe organizer Ray Pfau, a member of the Nashoba Valley club, "We throw away lots of things that often have almost nothing wrong with them, things that could easily be used again after a simple repair.  Unfortunately, many people have forgotten that they can fix things. Repair Café wants to change all that."

The Repair Café also is meant to put neighbors in touch with each other in a new way.  Neighbors may discover that a lot of know-how and practical skills can be found close to home.  Pfau notes, "When you repair a bike, a CD player, or a pair of trousers with previously unfamiliar neighbors, you look at them in a different light the next time you see them.  Jointly making repairs can lead to connections in the community.  Making repairs can also save money and resources."

The Repair Café Foundation has been organizing Repair Cafés since 2009 in the Netherlands, and has provided support since 2011 to local groups in and outside the Netherlands wanting to start their own Repair Cafés.  Sudbury has been holding Repair Cafés since 2017.

For more information on the Sudbury Repair Cafe, contact Howard Kendall, a member of the Nashoba Valley club, at 978-261-5264 or

For a calendar of all upcoming Repair Cafe and Fixit events in Massachusetts, visit

To learn more on Rotary District 7910, which includes 50 Rotary clubs in Central Massachusetts and Metro West, please explore the content of this site.  Rotary is a service organization; our our focus is on community and international service projects that improve lives.