The New Paltz Repair Café is celebrating its tenth anniversary on May 20 from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the New Paltz United Methodist Church located at 1 Grove Street. This community-driven event brings together skilled volunteers to fix and repair household items, promoting sustainability and reducing waste.
Founded in 2013 by John Wackman, the New Paltz Repair Café has become a staple of the community. Wackman, a local environmentalist and community organizer, saw the need for a space where individuals could bring in broken or damaged items and have them fixed instead of throwing them away. He worked with Martine Postma, founder of Repair Café International, as well as local fixers and community members to create a vibrant and connected network of groups that continue to grow after his untimely death in January, 2021.
The tenth anniversary celebration comes on the heels of the Repair Cafe’s appearance on the Today Show on April 21. The segment showcased the Repair Cafe’s mission of promoting sustainability and reducing waste through repair and reuse.
“We are honored to have been featured on the Today Show, and we hope it inspires other communities to start their own Repair Cafés,” said Holly Shader, current organizer of the New Paltz Repair Café. “Our goal has always been to bring people together and provide a space for community members to learn from each other and promote sustainability.”
Over the past decade, the Repair Café has expanded to include not only repairs but also educational workshops and community events. The Repair Café has become a model for other communities, with more than 45 repair cafes in the Hudson Valley. “We are thrilled to be celebrating our tenth anniversary, and we owe it all to the support of the community,” said Shader. “Our mission is to encourage sustainability, reduce waste and foster community connections. We couldn’t have done it without the dedication of our volunteers and the support of the community.”
The tenth anniversary celebration will include repair stations, as well as an opportunity to share memories of Wackman and the impact of Repair Café in New Paltz. Attendees are encouraged to bring in their broken items, from appliances to clothing, and work with skilled volunteers to fix them. The event is free and open to the public.
For more information on Repair Café in the Hudson Valley and to donate to support the local Repair Cafe movement, visit repaircafehv.org.