Grey Bears Repair Cafe FAQs

Bring your broken household items to the Repair Cafe at Grey Bears and work with our Fix it volunteer coaches, your neighbors, friends and others to keep your favorite things working.

PA_repair_fix_it1) What exactly is the Repair Café?
The Repair Café is a volunteer-driven program patterned after the Repair Café movement that started and now flourishes in the Netherlands. The aim of the Repair Café movement is to reduce the amount of stuff that ends up in the waste or recycling stream by helping fix nonworking items.

2) What kinds of things should I bring?
Sewing repairs, small household items like lamps, kitchen appliances and vacuum cleaners, as well as small furniture and mechanical goods like weed-wackers and lawnmowers. We have a very low success rate fixing CD players and DVD players, and we are not able to tackle microwave ovens. Nor do we have a safe set up to do welding projects.

3) Can you tell me in advance if you can fix my broken item?
Unfortunately, it is impossible for us to know whether we can fix your broken item unless you bring it to the Repair Café.

4) What do we pay for this service?
Repair Café doesn’t charge for repairs. If the purchase of repair parts is required, and they are available, you will be asked to pay for them. For convenience, our partner, ACE Hardware in Santa Cruz and Aptos, will offer a discount on small parts you may need that day. (Of course, donations to help cover other expenses, like miscellaneous supplies and spare parts that we keep on hand are always appreciated. See below.)

5) What should I expect when I come to the Repair Café?
You will be given a number and directed to the appropriate repair station when your number is called. We will attempt to accommodate everyone, minimize wait times, and make it easier for you to move through the repair process. Come equipped with reading material and ready to enjoy the community spirit of the Repair Café. Coffee and refreshments will be available while you wait.

6) Do you only service items for Santa Cruz County residents?
Grey Bears Repair Café is open to the whole community. However, we discourage you from driving long distances to participate. It just doesn’t make good ecological sense for you to drive a long way to repair your broken toaster. Please consider accessing one of the following other area resources if they are closer to you.
Palo Alto Repair Café — repaircafe-paloalto.org
Fix It Clinic, East Bay — facebook.com/FixitClinic

7) Can I make an appointment for a set time?
We may introduce an appointment system in the future but not just yet.

8) What if you cannot help me fix my broken item?
Often, if our volunteers can’t fix your item, they can offer advice on what you might need to fix it yourself. If an item is beyond repair, you can recycle it right here at Grey Bears.

9) How can I support the Repair Café movement?
Volunteer – Send us a note here if you’d like to volunteer.
Donate – Contributions of any amount are always greatly appreciated to help fulfill our mission. To donate, please either mail a check or drop off your donation at Grey Bears, 2710 Chanticleer Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95065. You can also donate online by credit card on our secure website, greybears.org/support-us.

For more information email repair@greybears.org or call 831-479-1055 ext 226.