Hennepin County Fix-It Clinics Go Virtual
As people spend more time at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, projects around the house continue to pop up. For most, a repair project can seem daunting. But Hennepin County volunteers can help through the virtual fix-it-clinics.
The fix-it-clinics offer free, guided assistance from volunteers to help repair broken items. Residents can also learn valuable repair skills. Residents will bring in small items like clothing, electronics and mobile devices.
Prior to the novel coronavirus, the in-person event was held once a month. But now because everything will be virtual, the event is ongoing.
“When you put all the resources into buying something and all the resources that went into making it, it’ll be nice if you could use it as long as possible instead of throwing it away and buying a new one,” said Nancy Lo, the waste reduction and recycling specialist for Hennepin County.
Lo said residents just need to fill out an intake form and they’ll be connected with a volunteer. She added that those participating in the virtual fix-it-clinics will need something that allows for video conferencing. It would also be helpful to have a second person in the household to help with the camera and assist with disassembly and repairs.
Lo said Hennepin County has been offering the virtual fix-it-clinic for about three weeks though only a handful of residents have participated so far. She said there’s been challenges to doing things online.
“It just takes a lot more time. Also the person that we’re helping has to have tools available versus our in-person event. Everybody had tools and you just borrowed whatever you need, so its definitely more limiting than our in-person events,” Lo explained.
Lo said it’s important to be able to repair items to reduce waste.