Love Auto Repair, a garage in Fort Wayne, Indiana, is fixing cars as a needs-based charity and providing training for automotive-minded foster kids who are aging out of the system.
“Our goal is for Jesus to be honored everyday through our value, service, and business practices. Full service repair and routine maintenance for less,” reads the business’s Facebook page.
The garage opened in 2010 when a local church asked itself what practical needs it could be meeting for lower-income members of the community. From this question, the church developed the idea of a discount auto repair shop, motivated by the desire to provide quality service and job training skills to those in need.
Craig Agapie, manager of Love Auto Repair, explains the three objectives of the garage. “We exist for three reasons: to humbly serve the poor who can’t afford car repair anywhere reputable; to save fellow Christians money on a necessity so they can choose where to reinvest their savings into the kingdom – some choose to help us help others by donating it back to us. We’re a 501c3 – and coming online this year is our main mission: to train automotive-minded foster kids who are aging out of the system into the next generation of technicians.”
While the garage accepts payments in check, debit, or credit, they also gladly accept payments of doughnuts, cash donations, pizza, drawings, and other gestures of gratefulness.
“We get the most satisfaction in seeing the stress melt away from people when they know they’re in good hands (pre-repair), or when we surprise them by fixing so many things for so little money,” Agapie said. “They are then able to get back to work and still make that month’s rent payment.”
The garage is hoping to expand its services, hire more technicians, and add programs, but its mission will remain the same. “We strive for excellence in all we do, but cars rust away … people are eternal. Our ministry is about much more than fixing cars,” Agapie said.