Columbia Springs

Repair Clark County

  

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Getting Involved

Community Minded

Repair Clark County organizes events around the county where folks can bring broken household items and usually have those items fixed by expert volunteer “fixers”. Partners include local agencies like Evergreen Habitat for Humanity and the City of Vancouver. Repair Clark County also offers workshops like Lamp Repair. These events are free to the community.

Questions? Contact our Repair Coordinator, Terra, or call 360-882-0936 ext. 224

EVENTS MODIFIED

Due to health concerns, all Repair Clark County events are either postponed or modified.
Please see updated information in the “Upcoming Events” box below.


Repair drop off/Pick up

We are piloting a program where you can drop off/pick up your items for repair.
Go here to read more and click here to register your items for repair.

What to Bring

Your bicycles, clothing, small home appliances or electronics, jewelry, or tools/knives for sharpening! Fixers will try to repair them or give you advice on how to fix them yourself. Attendees may bring multiple items, but must re-enter the line for each item. Attendees are encouraged to bring replacement parts (i.e. cords, zippers) specific to their broken item for fixers to use in the repair. Only bring items small enough to be easily carried by one person, and do not bring any items that are leaking, dangerous, dirty or have a strong odor.

What to Expect

Experienced fixers will attempt to repair or mend your items and can sometimes teach you how to fix them. There are no guarantees an item can be fixed, or that attempting to fix it won’t break it even more, but fixers will be available to diagnose problems and offer their best, unbiased advice. Last year, volunteers had an 84% success rate. Volunteers will provide free diagnosis and repair skills, and some replacement parts may be available (cords, spark plugs, etc.)

Funding for Repair Clark County is Provided By

The Washington State Department of Ecology’s Public Participation Grant

I want to volunteer...

Repair Clark County would not be possible without the help of skilled volunteers. If you would like to volunteer, please contact us at repair@columbiasprings.org. All volunteers are required to attend a volunteer orientation to ensure a safe, enjoyable event.

We are actively seeking event management volunteers (host, snack steward, runner, social media steward, etc) and interpreters, especially for Spanish and Russian.

Repair Clark County

EVENTS POSTPONED

All Repair Clark County events postponed at least until the end of April.

Bring your broken items to be repaired by our skilled volunteers.

2020 Event Statistics

Repair Clark County

FAQ’s

When are the events?

Repair Clark County holds events roughly monthly. See “Upcoming Events” above to find out when the next event is coming to a neighborhood near you!

Where are the events held?

We have a variety of host sites at large public venues, such as libraries, community centers, schools, and non-profit locations. To see where our next events are happening, please check the upcoming events section above.

What can I bring to be repaired?

Depending on the expertise of the fixer volunteers at any particular event and the venue, attendees can bring:

  • Clean clothes and textiles
  • Bicycles
  • Small electronics
  • Small home appliances
  • Tools or knives to be sharpened
  • Jewelry

Common items brought to events include: kitchen knives, pocket knives, scissors, gardening and hand tools, necklaces, ear rings, pins/brooches, backpacks/bags, clothes needing zippers, buttons or tears fixed, bicycles, walkers, lamps, vacuums, fans, clocks, radios, coffee makers, hair dryers, toasters, food processors, mixers.

This is not a complete list of items, and some repairs may not be available at every event. If you are wondering if we’ll be able to fix your item, please contact us: repair@columbiasprings.org or 360-882-0936 x224.

What’s NOT accepted?

For safety, the following items are not accepted at Repair Cafés:

  • Items too large/heavy for one person to carry
  • Microwaves
  • Large appliances (i.e. fridges, freezers, stoves)
  • Chainsaws
  • Lawnmowers
  • Any items that are leaking, dangerous, dirty or have a strong odor

Note: We reserve the right to decline an item if it is unsafe or fixers are not available to make repairs.

Will my item get fixed?

Volunteers are highly skilled and will do their best to fix your item. Volunteers are typically able to fix things successfully about 80% of the time! However, we can’t guarantee that your item will be fixable.

Some items may need parts that we don’t have available, and it will be up to you to bring these parts with you (see “Is there anything else I should bring?” below). If you’d like a better idea of whether or not we can fix your specific item, feel free to call or email us prior to an event: repair@columbiasprings.org or 360-882-0936 x224.

How long will I have to wait for my repair?

It could be awhile. Wait times depend on the number of volunteers available with the skill to work on your particular item. Small appliances and small electronics usually have the longest wait time (which can sometimes be up to an hour or more.)

Most people show up 30 minutes before an event is scheduled to start. Showing up in the final hour of an event is a good way to avoid the longest wait times and the largest crowds. Enjoy activities and demonstrations from our community partners while you wait, or treat yourself to some coffee, tea or snacks!

Some repairs take just a few minutes, while others take much longer. Volunteers do their best to provide excellent service to everyone, and in a effort to give every participant a fair chance to be seen, repairs are limited to a 30 minute maximum per item. Please understand that your item may not be able to be repaired in this timeframe, but volunteers can at least help you diagnose the issue, and give you resources and advice on how to handle it.

How many broken items can I bring?

To reduce the wait time for each attendee, a maximum of ONE broken item per person will be examined at a time. After each item is examined/repaired, the attendee must return to the registration table to be matched with another fixer volunteer. While you’re waiting, enjoy a snack and have a friendly conversation with your neighbors.

 

Note: If your repair takes longer than 30 minutes, you may be asked to postpone the repair.

Is there anything else I should bring?

If you know your item needs a part in order to be repaired, it is helpful to bring that part with you. If you’re not sure if your item needs a part, volunteers can help you diagnose the issue and let you know what parts you might need. Once you know the parts you need, you are welcome to bring them to a future event (depending on the venue, you may be able to purchase parts at the event, or a location close by, and return to the event the same day). If you happen to have a service manual for your item, it can be helpful to bring that as well.

What happens when I get to the event?

When you arrive at the host location with your broken items, attendees are asked to sign in at the front desk, and volunteers will set you up with a fixer. To protect all parties involved, we require all participants sign liability release forms when they check in at each event. Depending on attendance, you may need to wait. Enjoy light refreshments and chat with fellow community members as you wait for your repair!

Who are Fixers?

Fixers are volunteers with skills in tinkering and repairing a variety of items. The team of fixers at Repair Clark County can have varied expertise ranging from small appliances, clothing, bicycles, small electronics, jewelry and toys, among others. If you know of someone who would like to volunteer their time and skills, please have them contact us at repair@columbiasprings.org or 360-882-0936 x224.

What kind of help can I expect from a Fixer?

Each fixer will help make a diagnosis for the item you bring in. They may show you how to repair your item and work with you to repair it at the event, or you can request advice and guidance to make the repair on your own. Our volunteers have been successful in fixing items about 80% of the time!

Is there any cost involved with these repairs? (Spoiler Alert: NO!)

The repair work is carried out by volunteers and repairs are FREE of charge for attendees. In some cases, a repair may require parts or tools not available at the event, so fixers may offer unbiased advice on next steps for your repair needs. Parts determined to be needed for the repair may be available for low cost through the Fixers, or you may need to purchase needed parts on your own outside of the event.

Will it be safe to make these repairs?

All fixers are knowledgeable with regard to the safe use of the tools available. The first step in tackling a repair job will be to discuss the safe use of tools and handling of the item to be repaired. Electrical safety will be explained when disassembling items that use electricity. To protect all parties involved, all participants are required to sign a liability release form when they check in at each event.

Can I visit the Repair Clark County events if I have nothing to repair?

Of course! Stop by and enjoy a cup of coffee/tea and the community atmosphere.

Can you make repairs at my home or business?

No. For safety and liability purposes, volunteers cannot make house calls (nor meet with you in a public place) to do repairs. Repairs are only available at our scheduled events.

How can I volunteer?

If you have repair or event management skills, Repair Clark County is a perfect volunteer opportunity for you!

If you are interested in volunteering, please email us with info on your experience and availability, and we’ll provide you all the resources you need to start volunteering with the program.

Is there an age requirement for volunteers?

Volunteers must be at least 16 years old to volunteer at Repair Clark County events. 16-17 year old volunteers can participate in the event with signed parent or guardian permission. Volunteers 18 years of age and older can volunteer independently.

It is important that volunteers have a good level of skill/experience with fixing common household items (such as bicycles, jewelry, tools, knives, small appliances and small electronics, or sewing). Volunteers without specific repair skills can serve as event hosts or other event management roles.

Get Started

Volunteer Links

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