Many people are willing to repair their cars but when it comes to household appliances and smaller items, it’s often a different story.
Throwing out a VCR, a television or toaster oven and being able to replace it cheaply may be convenient but it unnecessarily adds to the waste stream.
Some residents in Pleasantville are joining together to bring a local Repair Café to the village where volunteers who are handy in fixing appliances, electronics, toys, jewelry, clothing and textiles and items made of wood try to salvage “broken but beloved” possessions for people in the community.
The first Pleasantville Repair Café is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 14 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at St. John’s Episcopal Church, located at 8 Sunnyside Ave. It will also include minor bicycle repairs.
“What struck me were not only the environmental opportunities to keep things out of landfills and to fix things, but its’s a lost art repairing items and teaching our children that everything doesn’t have to be thrown away when it’s broken,” said Tara Klein, a Pleasantville resident who has helped spearhead the effort.
The concept of the repair café was created about 10 years ago in Amsterdam. Currently, there are about a dozen communities throughout the Hudson Valley that host the cafés on a periodic basis, mainly in Dutchess, Ulster and Orange counties. However, there are occasional sessions in many other locations, including this Saturday at the Ossining Community Center.
Klein said she and others reached out to John Wackman, a volunteer organizer in New Paltz, who initiated the repair sessions in his community in 2013. She said that with so many Pleasantville residents proud of living in a community that emphasizes the importance of recycling and reusing, it would be beneficial to add another dimension to the green movement.
Currently, there are about 10 volunteers who have committed to work on Sept. 14. Repairs are free but anyone who stops by is encouraged to donate a perishable food item to benefit the Hillside Food Outreach.
“It’s a really great community effort,” Klein said. “There’s a lot of volunteers who stepped up not only from the Hudson Valley movement, but also from Pleasantville.”
It is also a constructive effort for young people who are handy as well as residents who have various skills, including some with special needs, Klein said.
Berger Hardware in Hawthorne has pledged to donate various supplies while Beecher-Flooks Funeral Home is providing refreshments for the café.
Klein said if the response is strong, she will look to organize a repair café as often as is practical, whether that be monthly, quarterly or less frequently that that.
“So we’re really excited about it and we’ll see what the response is,” she said.
While there are an adequate number of volunteers for the initial session, additional volunteers are still welcome. There is a meeting for volunteers this Saturday, Sept. 7 at 3 p.m. at St. John’s Episcopal Church.
Residents can follow the Pleasantville Repair Café on Facebook or on Instagram @pvillerepaircafe for updates and links to sign up. Questions can also be forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org. For additional information, visit www.repaircafehv.org.