MAPLEWOOD, NJ - There are over 1,000 Repair Cafés worldwide and the first one in New Jersey in coming to SOMA this Saturday, October 21, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Morrow Memorial Church (600 Ridgewood Road, Maplewood).

The Repair Cafe was suggested by South Orange resident Lorraine Graves, who brought the concept to Cathy Rowe, the coordinator of SOMA: Two Towns for All Ages, which is organizing the event.

As Rowe explained, this inter-generational event brings together people of all ages and levels of expertise together to repair and save beloved items, while also helping to keep things out of landfills.

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On Saturday, expert volunteers will be at the Repair Cafe to help mend items, which might include patching, stitching, or gluing the broken item back together. The Repair Cafe will also offer tech help and digital photo downloads. As event organizers put it, "If you can carry it, we will try to fix it."

The event is open to all - even if you do not have something in need of repair. Everyone is invited to come by, enjoy a cup of coffee, and lend a hand with someone else's repair job, said Rowe, who added, "you can also get inspired at the reading table – by leafing through books on repairs and DIY."

Repair experts on hand include those with an expertise in sewing, jewelry, lamps and small electronics, bikes, tech devices, woodwork, and carpentry. There will also be people who can help download digital photos. 

Repair Café is open to everyone on a walk-in basis, and no appointment is needed, said Rowe. Participants can bring more than one item, "but if a line forms, we may ask people to let someone else have a turn before they bring up their next item," said Rowe.

For those who would like to volunteer at the Repair Cafe, Rowe said they are still in need of volunteers to help with bike repairs and to help in general at the event, as well as people to post flyers before Saturday.  

For more information, contact Cathy Rowe at Crowe@twp.maplewood.nj.us or at 973-558-0863.