A quick trip to a Repair and Sustainability Fair saved one Lewis County resident $600 in repair costs.
“That’s a success story right there,” said Jason Adams of the WSU Lewis County Extension Office, who helped organize the event.
The event returns this Saturday to Centralia College and will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event includes classes on maintenance and volunteers who can help fix household items, such as a ripped pair of jeans or a broken vacuum.
Adams said the event helps fill a “repair desert” that stretches from Olympia down to Portland, where it can be challenging to find the necessary parts and expertise to repair items, instead of throwing them away.
The first repair fair, held in April, drew around 50 people.
“A lot of the comments were, ‘you need to do this more often,’” Adams said.
And so, they will. In conjunction with the Lewis County Department of Public Works, Adams said the Repair Fair will likely be held quarterly, with two events at the college and two more in remote parts of the county.
The distance creates an obstacle for people to repair their item, which makes it more likely they will throw it away in favor of a new one. The hope, Adams said, is to create a ripple effect where people who learn repair skills will help someone else out down the line.
“I would love to see other groups do something similar,” he said. “My goal is for this to catch on.”
Adams said the event targets lower-income residents.
“We want to help everybody, but that’s a big part of it,” Adams said.
In addition to the repairs, the event will have booths from Timberland Regional Library, sensitive document shredding from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and door prizes.