It was the PG&E shut-offs over the summer that sparked the idea for Cheryl Hankin. In an age in which digital communication is the norm, the Moss Beach resident wondered how her children and grandchildren would react and be able to communicate without electrical power.
While the younger generation knew far more about how to retrieve information on computers, Harkin wondered if its members could learn what she knew — and if she could pass along her knowledge without relying on digital means.
This notion prompted Hankin to organize a “Fix-It Clinic,” which took place on Saturday morning at the Half Moon Bay Library. The clinic is one of a series of free volunteer-driven workshops that have become popular and have started to appear in locations nationwide. The do-it-yourself movement has grown into a grassroots organization that offers self-help tools, including workspace and hands-on mentorship, for repairing all types of electronics, appliances, computers, toys and clothes.
Hankin, 66, had several
concerns that the clinic could address. It highlighted a disconnection between the material and the digital, helped reduce distance between the young and old, and sought
to promote sustainable practices.
“It’s about how can we share knowledge, how can we bridge gaps and build a community of all ages,” Hankin explained.
Saturday’s event focused on textiles, and volunteers helped attendees fix jackets, zippers, buttons, and woven and knitted items. It was a collaboration between the city of Half Moon Bay, San Mateo County Office of Sustainability and the Fix-It Clinic organization. The Office of Sustainability, working with Fix-It Clinic founder Peter Mui, typically does four clinics per year.
Half Moon Bay Sustainability Analyst Veronika Vostinak explained that, aside from promoting science and technology literacy across all ages, the event taught practical self-sufficiency skills and how to eliminate waste in a casual setting.
Hankin, who has a doctorate in clinical and research psychology with specialized training in interdisciplinary team building, geriatrics and neuropsychology, was grateful the library was able to provide the space to foster knowledge and team building in the community.
“Sometimes shared activities and common goals, where no one is beneath anyone in a collaborative task, can be
helpful in building trust,” she said.