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Repair Café

The Corona Virus and Repair Events 

We hope you are doing ok dealing with the corona virus situation. It is definitely making us change a lot about our daily lives. An important issue is what this means for our repair events. Many of the events scheduled for March and even out into early May have already been cancelled. Going forward, we will monitor the situation and at some point, once things settle down enough, we will start holding in-person repair events again. Health and safety will be primary concerns. So some procedures at the events may change.

We will be holding a virtual Repair Cafe on June 20 instead of the normal in-person event. We have information about the event and how to sign up for it on this page.

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 Bolton Repair Café is scheduled for
Saturday, Jun 20, 2020 from 12 noon – 2 pm EDT




Zoom event hosted from Bolton and Maynard, MA



Most items are welcome, but we normally specialize in clean mendable clothing, knitted and crocheted items, lamps, small appliances, computers and other electronics, bikes, toys, jewelry, outdoor power equipment (but not in the winter), and dull blades.

Because this is a virtual event, the fixers cannot handle or work on the item directly. Therefore, you will have to do the fix yourself. That means that you will need to have the item, any accessories, and tools to work on the item with you. Therefore, some of our normal items may not be feasible to fix at a virtual event. For example, sewing which requires a sewing machine can only be done if you have a sewing machine.

 If your item needs a part and you know what part it is, save time and get the new part ahead of time.


Because we want to improve the chances of making a fix or at least diagnosing the problem, we are asking everyone to pre-register. If you have an item to be fixed, please register at:


We are also asking fixers to pre-register. You can also sign up to just observe the event to see what it is like. To register as a fixer or as an observer, visit


You will also have to supply your own drink and snack. But you can have fun, and work with remote volunteers from around the world to repair your broken item. You know all about the small print, right? But our small print says the same thing as our big print: There is no charge...really! You just pay for any needed parts.


 Contacts: Ray Pfau at 978-779-5545 or or

 Chris Kline,


AN ALL-VOLUNTEER PROJECT OF  THE ROTARY CLUB OF NASHOBA VALLEY with help from Bolton Local and some sustainably minded people from Maynard.

    Other Repair Cafés sponsored by the Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley

    Maynard - The Maynard Repair Café group will be assisting with the virtual Repair Cafe on June 20.   Facebook:
        Contact: Chris Kline -

     Sudbury - Due to the corona virus, the next Sudbury Repair Café is postponed 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 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. 

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.