News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Christmas in September brings toys, repair help to Gates

Contributing writer for The Canyon Weekly

Ready for Christmas in September?

Toys for Tots will give two free toys for every child who comes to the first-ever Repair Fair and Share event by the Santiam Canyon Tool Library. The event, which includes a free chili feed, will be held noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23 at the Gates Community Church of Christ, 40070 Gates School Road.

“We have never had a repair fair, this is our first one,” said Melodie Roth, SCTL executive board and founding member. “If we have lots of folks interested, we will definitely have another, possibly later this year.”

Roth credited Dakota Tangredi, the bilingual waste reduction coordinator for Marion County, for reaching out to the tool library to ask about hosting a repair fair. 

“We had already planned on doing a Toys for Tots giveaway and chili feed, so we decided to combine the events,” Roth said. “The toys came from the Good360 which is a branch of the United Way along with the Toys for Tots program.” 

The goal of the Repair Fair and Share is to connect people who can repair items with people who need their items repaired – for free – thus embracing “repair rather than replace.”

“The Repair Fair is an event where you can bring small appliances, electronics, textiles, bicycles, etc., and we will have experts on hand to repair the items,” Roth said. “If members of the public are repair experts, we invite them to come and volunteer.”

Shawn Drake, also on the executive board and a founding member, said, “We are really happy that Marion County contacted us for this Repair Fair opportunity along with The United Way Good360 program with free toys.”

“We hope to see this as a yearly event and getting lots of fix it people to join in. By fixing things instead of buying new, we not only save folks money but also have the chance to reduce the amount of things thrown away,” he added. “And it’s always great to see the smile of a kid with a new toy.”

The Santiam Canyon Tool Library is a tool lending resource for communities in the Santiam Canyon, serving the area of Marion Forks to Mehama and north to North Fork Road. For a free membership sign up at

For more information or to sign up an item for repair, visit the SCTL Facebook page. 

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