Repair Café Held at the Oak Park Arms

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In the Repair Cafe local fix-it types volunteer their time and expertise to help members of the community fix their broken items free of charge. The Lifelong Learning Center, housed within the Oak Park Arms retirement community, hosts one of just two repair cafes in the United States.

Repair Cafe at the Oak Park Arms retirement community
Clothes, furniture, electrical appliances, toys, bicycles -- the list of what can be repaired is endless, and the learning process is ongoing.

A Repair Café will take place at 3 p.m., Sunday, April 21, at the Oak Park Arms, 408 S. Oak Park Ave. Members of the community are invited to bring any broken items they wish to have fixed to the Lifelong Learning Center at the Oak Park Arms.

Co-founders Mac Robinet and Nancy Bauer began the Repair Café at the Oak Park Arms in January, 2013.

The Repair Café is a monthly event where local residents – fix-it types like Robinet - volunteer their time and expertise and bring in their own tools. Although there are no guarantees that an item can be fixed, volunteer experts include electricians, seamstresses and general handy people. This free service is offered as an alternative to hiring professionals.

The founders believe the café taps into important facets within the community including environmental, social and educational platforms. Repairing broken items reduces waste and saves money. In addition, through the concept of repair cafes, the community comes together, and individuals are provided with the opportunity to learn from one another while enjoying each other’s company.

“Repairs can save money and resources and help minimize CO2 emissions,” said Bauer. “But above all, the Repair Café is the place where participants see how much fun it is to repair things.”

Anyone is welcome to walk in with a broken item and attempt to restore it with help and guidance from the experts. Even those with no items in need of repair are welcome to stop by, enjoy a cup of coffee or tea and help with others’ repair projects.

Clothes, furniture, electrical appliances, toys, bicycles can be repaired. The list is endless, and the learning process is ongoing.

A concept originally born in the Netherlands, repair cafes have begun to sprout all over the world. However, there are currently only two cafes in the United States, and the Repair Café housed in the Lifelong Learning Center at the Oak Park Arms is one of them.

The Oak Park Arms is a rental retirement community which provides independent and assisted living apartments and a full schedule of activities and services. Furnished apartments are also available for a short-term stay - a weekend, a week, a month or longer.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, call Jill Wagner at 708-386-4040 or visit http://www.oakparkarms.com.

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Andy Richardson
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