If it’s broke, fix it — free

On Dec. 2 at the Lane Events Center, the City of Eugene held its third Fix-it event of the year.

Fix-it events started over a decade ago as a grassroots movement and quickly spread across the United States and the rest of the world. When the city of Eugene and the Urban Sustainability Organization learned about it, they quickly moved to secure funding to bring the event to Eugene. Organizers of the event stated that whereas the national average attendance rate is around 25-30 people, Eugene regularly sees over 150 people at their events, the highest reported in the nation.

People in the community are invited to bring one broken item of almost any kind for repairs. One of the main event organizers, Allie Breyer, reported that about 70 percent of items brought to their events are fixed for free on the same day. Items range from small appliances to clothing, furniture and more.

“It’s an overwhelming, fun and positive experience that brings the community together,” Breyer said.

One goal of Fix-it events is to promote a more conscientious use of belongings that could be salvaged instead of discarded. A unique aspect of the Fix-it event is that it allows people to not only get their things fixed, but learn how to fix them. People are encouraged to take an active part in the process with the professionals working on their items as a way to demonstrate how easy it is to fix broken things.

“When things break it doesn’t just occur to most people that, ‘I can fix it,’” David Wade, in charge of Fix-it data collection said. “I love to help people reach that realization that most broken things can be fixed.”

The event is heavily community-driven and organizers encourage participants to connect with each other. It was held in the same space as the holiday farmers market at the Lane Events Center.

“Any opportunity to connect people in the community and share stories and experiences is great, and events like this give them that opportunity,” Anya Dobrowolski, said.