Kent Community TimeBank wants to save your money and the environment

Kent Community TimeBank is offering a series of Repair Cafes, each one dedicated to providing on-site repairs or teaching people how to repair certain items themselves.

The idea, said event coordinator Tina Bergman, is to keep items out of landfills.

Time banking is an international labor time-based exchange system in which people exchange services for hourly time credits rather than money. Established in April 2010, KCTB has 514 members who have exchanged 97,610 hours. Globally, hOurworld — the international network of TimeBanks — has 35,512 members who have exchanged 3,147,577 hours.

The May 26 Repair Cafe will focus on:

  • Knife and tool sharpening and maintenance. Attendees should bring their knives and garden tools and plan on learning how to sharpen them and keep them in order. On-site knife sharpening will be provided.
  • Window screen repair/replacement: People wishing to have their window screens repaired should bring the appropriate amount and type of screening and splining with them. Pro tip: hardware stores may be able to help out with this.
  • Tree and shrub grafting: Attendees will watch demonstrations on how to graft and can ask the volunteer coach questions.

The June 23 Repair Cafe will focus on:

  • Small appliance repair, as in lamps, blenders and other small appliances. For safety reasons, volunteer coaches cannot repair any gasoline powered motors, microwave ovens or televisions.
  • Vacuum cleaner maintenance and cord repair.

Both Repair Cafes will feature volunteer coaches willing to deal with miscellaneous repairs of household items; bring them along, and volunteer coaches will see what they can do.

The events are set for 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Hobbs Hall, located behind the Kent Unitarian Universalist Church, 228 Gougler Ave.

Repair Cafes are free and open to the public. TimeBank members should donate agreed-upon time credits to the TimeBank; nonmembers are asked to provide monetary donations that will be split between the church and the TimeBank.

Additional “themed” Repair Cafes are set for the fourth Sundays of each month later this summer, Bergman said. All Cafe coaches will do their best to assist with repairs, but no guarantees are implied, Bergman said.

Each event will also feature a booth where attendees can learn about TimeBanking and can find out when the next orientation is scheduled.

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Wendy DiAlesandro is a former Record Publishing Co. reporter and contributing writer for The Portager.