hennepin county fix-it clinic presentation

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  • Hennepin County Fix-It Clinic

    How to start your own!


  • What?

    At monthly Fix-It Clinics, volunteers with

    repair skills help residents disassemble,

    troubleshoot and fix their household

    appliances and clothing.

    Fix-It Clinics reduce the amount of stuff that

    gets thrown in the trash, teach valuable skills

    and build community connections.

  • In Europe, we

    throw out so

    many things.

    - Martine Postma,

    Amsterdam mother of

    two who started

    Repair Cafes there.

    How it got started

  • Its about the people

    and their stories

  • When I gave the radio to

    my girlfriend she freaked,

    and she has been listening

    to it non-stop. I just

    wanted to thank you and

    the Fix-It crew for all of

    your help!

  • Finding volunteers

  • The right volunteers

    They can fix stuff, but do they have the

    patience to teach people who dont know a

    screwdriver from a wrench?

    Will they ask for help if they get stuck?

  • Why they keep coming back

    Thank you so much for the opportunity to be involved with the Fix-It Clinics. It is an absolutely brilliant program!

    Thanks again, Nancy, for providing us all this wonderful opportunity! I had so much fun!

    I got more than what I came for I learned from other volunteers.

    I loved how happy people who brought their items in were, even if their item was not repairable.

  • Getting the word out

    Newspapers (local + Star Tribune)

    City newsletters

    County website

    County/city news releases

    Facebook and Twitter


  • Supplies

    Volunteers bring most of their own tools

    A scale

    Electrical cords

    Power strips

    Waivers, surveys

    Trays for holding screws

    Canned air, tape,

    batteries, rubbing alcohol,



    Snacks and drinks

  • Have the site help promote

  • Choosing a location

    Large enough to accommodate 12-15 large rectangular tables plus chairs

    Wi-Fi access

    A television (for testing repaired DVD, VHS players)

    Adequate lighting

    Plentiful electrical outlets

    Centrally located site with promotional options

    Sufficient parking

  • The check-in table

  • Measuring results

    At check in, record the item, problem, weight. Sign waiver.

    As resident is leaving, did item get fixed and how, fill out a survey card

  • Crunching the numbers

    Number of items fixed

    vs. number of items

    brought in, calculate the

    weight of items diverted

    from the trash.

    Diagnoses and partial

    fixes are considered


  • Outcomes

    6 events so far

    Total people:



    diverted: 1,900

    Average fix

    rate: 74


  • Feedback

    I am not at all handy and do not even relish the use of a screwdriver but I found the experience of replacing the part very empowering, and the clinic itself very energizing.

    "Outstanding service! Thank you very much and especially to Roger -- for his patience and tenacity!

    "We are thrilled at being able to attend. Brian did the work, and he was very methodical and knowledgeable! THANK YOU!"

    "Clone Michael! He is a real craftsman and effective teacher."

    "This is awesome! Nice volunteers."

    "Keep it up -- you are all saints!"

    "Good folks/ kind and welcoming!"

    "It's a most worthwhile effort to save equipment, reduce trash!"

    "Great community event! Thanks.

  • Kids are welcome!

  • Sewing/mending

  • Why do these?

  • hennepin.us/fixitclinic

    Nancy Lo




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