Repair PDX is a Portland based organization that hosts “repair café” – free events that bring together volunteers who like to fix things with people who have broken items that need fixing. About a year ago, several members of Reuse Alliance Oregon passed around an article published in the New York Times about the Netherlands’ Repair Cafés. These “cafés” bring together repair volunteers (or “mentors”) and people who have things that need to be fixed. Items get repaired instead of trashed. Soon enough, the idea of starting a repair café in Portland kept coming up in conversations. With so much interest in the concept, bringing people together to explore it further presented a perfect topic for a local Reuse Alliance Oregon Chapter Meeting. With over 30 people in attendance, the foundation for Repair PDX began to form. A group of volunteers coalesced around the project and prepared to launch the first Portland repair café. The first event was held in June, 2013. When a line formed of people with their broken fans, vacuums, small appliances, clothing, bikes and jewelry, it became obvious that there was a real need for this service. Since that first event, Repair PDX has held six other repair cafés, fixing over 170 items. With 85 attendees at the most recent event, the concept has taken off and Repair PDX’s mission to spread repair culture is succeeding. A sister organization, North Portland Repair Café, will be holding its first event in May and nearby City of Gresham is researching incorporating repair cafés into its waste management programs. Cindy Correll, Reuse Alliance Oregon Chapter Coordinator and Repair PDX organizer, said, “We’ve discovered that people have an emotional attachment to their belongings. They don’t want to throw them away. Something magic happens at our events when people gather to share, learn and help each other through repair. We provide positive, fulfilling experiences that reinforce the benefits of reuse in a powerful, personal way. What could be better than that?” When asked if there was anything that could come close to being as good as that, Cindy quipped – “Well, I know I can’t wait to attend ReuseConex. I’m really looking forward to connecting with others involved in reuse – including other repair café organizers – and being immersed in sharing best practice, learning new ideas and gaining new perspectives around reuse.” Click here for more info.