A Message from The Repair Cafe of the Hudson Valley.

Thanks so much to all who joined us on Saturday to remember John and begin to chart our course forward for Repair Cafe of the Hudson Valley and Catskills in his memory and honor.  It was a very moving discussion, and inspiring with tidbits like the conversational circle where they passed around the “talking wrench.”

Reviewing the discussion  — key points — 

As promised, I have created a Google group for Repair Cafe of the Hudson Valley and Catskills organizers – starting with the group on John’s list.  It’s called RepairCafeHVCats and you will shortly receive a welcome message from it (can unsubscribe any time).  This allows for lateral communication in the RC community without me as gatekeeper, though I will supportively hover.  Please feel free to share with your trusted associates and encourage them to send me a request to join, which I will promptly grant.  Let’s not rush to put this on steroids with outreach to more than the active participants, for now, so we can use it effectively to communicate on operational issues as well as sustaining relationships, OK?

As fiscal sponsor, SHV is stepping up to fill John’s role in coordinating, cheerleading, networking etc. for Repair Cafe in our region.   We are:

  • hosting the Facebook fundraiser through the end of February with the goal of raising $10,000 to seed a coordinator position (around $6K raised to date); 
  • working with Vassar College intern Fiona Bruckman, whom you met on the call, to generate interesting tidbits for social media, do research on your behalf, and continue the work of tabulating data on the accomplishments of the program to date (#items, people, pounds of landfill diversion etc.) Depending on what comes out of the national Repair Cafe organizers’ un-conference coming up this Saturday, February 13, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. [register here] we may work on a more structured national conference or at least forum in due time as John envisioned.  Fiona will be with us into May;
  • integrating the RC / HV Cats website and national with ours;
  • checking in with each local organizer over the coming weeks to be sure we understand the status of things, any concerns, primary support needs and anything you can share with others.

Most of you are in fully virtual mode while a few of you are carefully making plans to resume activity when the weather improves to allow for outdoor Repair Cafes.   I want to encourage us to err on the side of patience and use this in-between time to get as creative as humanly possible with our virtual activities, as well as planning for summer into fall in person.  The Yorktown model with advance sign-ups and distanced tables seems helpful, as well as the idea of dropping things off with coaches – not as empowering but a reasonable compromise.  Below my signature is the invitation with schedule of Fixit Clinics from Peter Mui who offered to create a customized one for our people if you all like.  What are your thoughts?

Forgot to mention – Sustainable Hudson Valley is willing to purchase a copy of Repair Revolution for any public library associated with a local RC group that will actively promote the book (to its members, and ideally write a review on Amazon or Goodreads to support it).  Let me know if you would like one for any library in your neck of the woods.  

How is Saturday March 6, same time – 1 pm – for the followup we discussed?  Please reply to me only with your availability then + March 13 as a backup.

Don’t hesitate to be in touch about anything!   

Thank you –

Melissa Everett, Ph.D.
Executive Director
Sustainable Hudson Valley
PO Box 3364
Kingston, NY 12402