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Repair Café

The Coronavirus and Repair Events

We hope you are doing ok with the coronavirus situation. It has made us all make adjustments to our daily lives. What does this mean for Repair Cafes and other repair events? In-person events are not possible right now.Going forward, we will monitor the situation and at some point we will hope to be able to start holding in-person events again. Health and safety will be primary concerns. We will follow CDC, state, and local guidelines.
We held a virtual Repair Cafe using Zoom on June 20, hosted by the Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley from Maynard and Bolton, Massachusetts. It went very well. But for now, we are not going to do another one. Fortunately, several other groups from here in the US and in Europe are holding them. Check the calendar below for more information.

There are also some webinars being offered on how to fix an item or how to do certain things. For example, how to fix a lamp or how to do maintenance on your sewing machine. Check the calendar below for more information.

We are also looking at other options for doing repairs while we are waiting to do in-person events. More on that later.

If you have any questions, contact us by email ( or phone (978-779-5545).

Here is a schedule of upcoming events in Massachusetts plus virtual events worldwide. To add an event, contact Ray Pfau at

Repair Cafés and similar events

Repair Café in the News!

The Next Bolton Repair Cafe

The next in-person Bolton Repair Café is on hold until the coronavirus situation improves. We will update this site once we are able to hold in-person events again.

In the meantime, some other groups are holding virtual Repair events using Zoom. You sign up to bring a broken item and show it and get help online fixing it. But you will need tools and you will do the repair yourself with guidance from the online volunteer coaches. Check the online calendar on this site for more information.

Also, some groups are holding webinars to teach people how to do certain repairs. Check the online calendar for more information about those events too.

    Other Repair Cafés sponsored by the Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley

    Maynard - Due to the coronavirus, the next in-person Maynard Repair Café is on hold until further notice.
        Facebook page:
        Contact: Chris Kline -

     Sudbury - Due to the corona virus, the next in-person Sudbury Repair Café is on hold until further notice.
         Contact: Richard Simon -         
  or (978) 835-4432.

Repair Cafés and similar events are popping
up everywhere!

Check out these sites for more information:

Repair Cafés Help with Fixes, Build Community
At the Repair Cafés, sponsored by Rotary Clubs, local sustainability groups, and libraries, everything centers on making repairs. By promoting repairs, these groups want to help reduce mountains of waste. Ray Pfau, one of the organizers of the Bolton Repair Caf
é says, “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 have things fixed. Repair Cafés want to change all that.”

Until now, Bolton Repair Cafes have been in-person events where volunteer fixers work with owners of broken items to make repairs. With the current coronavirus situation, we cannot safely do in-person repairs. Therefore, we are looking at alternatives to help people fix their broken items. Some groups are offering help in a Zoom meeting. This means owners of broken items will have to do the actual repairs, with guidance from the fixers. Our fixers cannot handle or work on those items. There are also some webinars where someone will teach attendees how to fix or maintain an item. We are also looking into other options for helping people repair their broken items.

Repair Cafés are also meant to put neighbors in touch with each other in a new way, to help people save money, and to help people discover that a lot of know-how and practical skills can be found close to home. Pfau says: “If you repair a bike, a CD player or a pair of trousers together with a previously unfamiliar neighbor, you look at that person in a different light the next time you see them. Jointly making repairs can lead to connections in the community.” 

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

The Repair Cafés are staffed by knowledgeable volunteers, who help make all possible repairs on things like 
clean mendable clothing, lamps, small appliances, computers and other electronics, bikes, toys, jewelry, outdoor power equipment (but not in the winter), and dull blades —all free of charge.
(Some small parts may be supplied, such as wire or thread; other parts will be paid for by the owner of the item.) If the owner of the item knows what part or parts are needed, it will save time if the owner can obtain the part ahead of time and bring it to the Repair Café event.

The Bolton Repair Café is associated with the Repair Café Foundation, started by Martine Postma in 2011. She has been organizing Repair Cafés in the Netherlands since 2009. Since 2011, the Repair Café Foundation has provided support to local groups in and outside the Netherlands wishing to start their own Repair Cafés.

There are other models for repair events. They are all good and work toward similar goals. The Fixit Clinic model was started by Peter Mui, also in 2009, here in the U.S. With this model, guests are encouraged to do their own repairs, with help as needed from the volunteers, who are called coaches. Peter has been helping other groups start Fixit Clinics since 2009. Some repair events are held as independent events, using their own name (e.g. Repair Public or Fixer Fair). They are not associated with Repair Café or Fixit Clinic.