Dare to Repair: Get your damaged items fixed for free


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Don’t throw away that damaged appliance, lamp or bike! There is a place you can take broken items this weekend and get them fixed for free: the Dare to Repair Cafe.

“I grew up in a house where we never had a repairman come,” Chip Bleank said, a volunteer ‘fixer’ at the event. “My father knew how to do a lot of things, and by paying attention and opening things up as a kid, I figured out how they worked.”

Chip Bleank has been a ‘fixer’ most of his life. And for about two years, he’s been helping volunteer at the Dare to Repair Cafe events, which are held several times a year. The event was started by the Tool Library, and the City of Buffalo Department of Recycling in 2017. The idea was to help people save money, and to divert usable items from landfills.

“I personally like (fixing) old lamps and small appliances,” Bleank said.

You can bring in just about anything to get fixed: small appliances, tools, bikes, lamps, even clothing. The ‘fixers’ double as teachers too, and will show you basic repair skills.

“I had one woman at one event, after we got done, she said she was going to go home and fix the other one,” Bleank said. “She had two lamps that she brought in.”

Turning old, into new. Fixers like Chip Bleank ‘dare you’ to try and repair, before you throw something away.

The next Dare to Repair Cafe is happening Saturday, November 16th from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. It will be held at the Herman Badillo Bilingual Academy, on Carolina Street in Buffalo.

The final Dare to Repair Cafe of 2019 is December 14th, at Southside Elementary School.

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