Monthly Fix-it Clinic to Start at Osceola Senior Center

Molly Sanford at Dare to Repair community event
Marine Mills Folk School’s mending and small electronics repair clinic begins December 2

On Saturday, December 2, Marine Mills Folk School’s Dare to Repair fix-it clinic is taking a road trip. The monthly mending and small electronics repair clinic will be held at the Osceola Senior Center in an effort to seed a clinic within the community.

Dare to Repair is an initiative of May Township resident Molly Sanford and Marine on St. Croix resident Dana Vannen Anderson. The two have a passion for repairing and restoring items, rather than throwing them away. Together, they pitched the fix-it clinic idea to Marine Mills Folk School (MMFS) last winter. Dare to Repair launched in January 2023.

Dare to Repair volunteers Peter and Molly stand by their welcome sign

Currently held the first Saturday of the month in Marine on St. Croix at the folk school, Sanford, Anderson and other volunteers have helped dozens of people learn to repair common household items such as lamps and keyboards and to mend items such as jeans and antique knits.

As the Dare to Repair volunteer team prepares for the Osceola event on December 2, they’re excited about another rural community getting a fix-it clinic and community event.

“The Dare to Repair fix-it clinic at MMFS is so fun,” Molly says. “I love helping people learn repair skills. While it’s great to keep individual items out of the landfill, what’s more important to me is fostering a culture shift away from disposability.”

A volunteer assists a Dare to Repair attendee with a sewing machine

Sanford likes to make sure attendees know that coming to a fix-it clinic like Dare to Repair isn’t a drop-off event. “We are here to help people learn new skills so they can feel empowered to repair things themselves,” she says. “Our repair coaches share their expertise in mending, electronics and mechanical repair, but they will hand the sewing needles, soldering irons and screwdrivers off to attendees, so they can learn by doing. People often feel immense joy and satisfaction when they have completed a successful repair—or, at the very least, identified the problem and figured out how to buy replacement parts!”

The Osceola community event is supported in part by the St. Croix Valley Foundation’s (SCVF) Vibrant Communities Mental Health Grant Program, which recognizes that supporting mental health and wellbeing lies on a spectrum from prevention to management.

Last spring, MMFS applied for a grant to pursue forming partnerships with several community groups in the St. Croix Valley as a means to “Preventing Isolation and Promoting Mental Wellness In Older Adults through Connection and Hands-on Continual Learning.”

In May, MMFS was notified that they had been awarded a $10,000 grant, which included a generous $5,000 gift from the Horst Rechelbacher Foundation.

“The Horst Rechelbacher Foundation is focused on supporting the well-being of people in our community,” says Jill Greenhalgh, director of the foundation. “We are pleased to help the Marine Mills Folk School because they will be providing a new way to engage senior citizens in the Osceola area in a creative and hands-on manner. We all have a responsibility to the community in which we live and work.”

Dare to Repair Osceola will be held Saturday, December 2, 2023 and Saturday, January 27, 2024, and will continue thereafter on the fourth Saturday of the month. Dare to Repair at Marine Mills Folk School will return to Marine on St. Croix on Saturday, February 3, 2024, and will continue to be held at MMFS the first Saturday of the month unless otherwise noted.

For information about future Dare to Repair events, visit our upcoming Courses page.