News Flash

Home- Supervisors Updates

Posted on: January 17, 2019

PRESS RELEASE - Red Hook Launches Repair Cafe

Red Hook starts its own Repair Café

What do you do with a broken toaster? Or with a bike when the wheel runs out of true? Or with a sweater full of moth holes? Toss it? No way! The Town of Red Hook Conservation Advisory Council is organizing the first Repair Café at the Red Hook Community Center as part of a larger day of activities planned on MLK Day, Monday, January 21, 2019 

At the Red Hook Community Center on 59 Fisk Street, Red Hook, NY 12571 on January 21 everything centers on making repairs. Starting from 11:30am and ending at 2:30pm, various volunteer repair experts will be available to help make all possible repairs free of charge. Tools and materials will also be on hand. People visiting the Repair Café will bring along their broken items from home. Toasters, lamps, hair dryers, clothes, bikes, toys, crockery... anything that is broken is welcome. And can more than likely be repaired. The Repair Café specialists almost always have the know-how.

By promoting repairs, the Town of Red Hook wants to help reduce mountains of waste. This is absolutely necessary, according to Town Supervisor Robert McKeon “We throw away piles of stuff in the US. Even things which practically have nothing wrong with them, and which could easily be used again after a simple repair. Unfortunately, many people have forgotten that they can have things repaired. Repair Café wants to change all that."

Repair Café is also meant to put neighbors in touch with each other in a new way. And to discover that a lot of know-how and practical skills can be found close to home. Said McKeon: "If you repair a bike, a lamp or a sweater together with a previously unfamiliar neighbor, you look at that person in a different light the next time you run into them on the street. Jointly making repairs builds community."

McKeon points out that repairs can save money and resources, and can help minimize pollution. “But above all, Repair Café just wants to show how much fun repairing things can be, and how easy it often is.”

Monday's Repair Cafe is part of a larger effort to encourage local community members to get involved. Aside from the Cafe, community members can expect lots of community oriented activities.

Bring a food or hygiene item to donate in exchange for some yummy goodies along with a few used t-shirts to make reusable bags. Meet local organizations looking for volunteers, visit the Makerspace where bat boxes and bug houses are being assembled and have some fun with kitchen science at the STEM table.

Student fellow Tonery Rogers described her experience as an organizer, "Bringing Red Hook families, organizations, and community members together with Bard student and local volunteers all in our very own Community Center is the very best way to honor MLK and to honor our community."

Student fellow Najwa Jamal helped recruit the over 35 Bard student volunteers helping work the event, "Bard students are excited to combine fun with civic engagement. For many of our volunteers this is their first experience volunteering in Red Hook and maybe even their first time volunteering at Bard. It is important for them to meet their neighbors and to work toward a common goal."

For more information contact or visit Facebook at

Repair Café Foundation

The Repair Café concept arose in the Netherlands, in 2009, and was formulated by Martine Postma, at the time an Amsterdam-bases journalist/publicist. In 2010, she started the Repair Café Foundation (see This foundation provides support to local groups around the world wishing to start their own Repair Café. The foundation also supports the Repair Café in Red Hook.

Red Hook wishes to organize Repair Cafés on a regular basis in our community. News about dates and locations of up-and-coming editions will follow as soon as possible! Find more info on Facebook @ Town of Red Hook Conservation Advisory Council or website Special thanks to Laurie Husted, CAC Chairperson, as well as the many repair coaches and Bard students helping to make Martin Luther King weekend a day of engagement.

Facebook Twitter Email