A nonprofit auto repair shop in Texas called God’s Garage is changing the lives of women in need in the local community.
God’s Garage, located in Conroe, some 40 miles north of Houston, repairs vehicles for single mothers, widows as well as wives of deployed military with no labor costs. The nonprofit operates through donations and a team of volunteers, including a “master mechanic” who oversees each repair.
“We don’t charge anything for labor and try to help with parts as we can. We also give vehicles away to those in need,” God’s Garage says on its website.
Thus far, God’s Garage has repaired more than 200 vehicles and donated at least 70 others. The nonprofit is opening a second, larger location soon.
“God’s Garage was born out of the needs we saw around us, as some of our single ladies, widows, and wives of deployed military are struggling to make ends meet,” its website says. “Through donated cars and parts, we are able to bridge troubled times in so many people’s lives.”
How did it all start? Their page doesn’t provide a name, but there’s a story. It begins with a person telling of their childhood, how they remembered their father being into fixing cars and anything automotive, and he’d always stop to help someone in need. But it wasn’t until this unnamed person had their own struggles while trying to remain employed and having car trouble that they came up with an idea:
I prayed to God many times that my car would start in the morning so I could get to work. No money for parts, much less labor!
I told God that if I could make a difference for people in my situation, I would gladly help them.
7 years ago, I started a group that met at my house in Atascocita called Hot Rods & Harleys.
We would work on anything that we could get our hands on, and that morphed into helping people who were in need.
When we moved to Montgomery, the house we bought, was bought not so much for the house, as it was for a place to build a shop to continue that journey.
I dreamed and saved but didn’t have enough to build the shop for a few years and wondered if it was even supposed to happen.
One night on the way home from church in the pouring, dark, cold rain, I saw a lady and a little girl walking along the side of Hwy 105. I pulled over to offer them a ride and was surprised to see that I knew them from church, and taught her daughter in my class.
I asked what had happened and found out that their vehicle had been in the shop for months.
At that moment, I knew I had to do whatever it took to make sure that this kind of thing didn’t keep happening without some intervention.
I begged and borrowed money to build a shop to repair cars for single mothers, widows, and wives of deployed military.
One of the women who has received a car is local resident Lisa Garman.
“I ended up carless and homeless last summer. The company I worked for sold and we didn’t have any notice,” Garman said in a recent interview with CBS-affiliated station KHOU. “It’s very humbling and shocking. The saying is you have to have a car to have a job, right? Well, you have to have a job to have a car, so what do you do?”
Garman applied for assistance through God’s Garage while staying at the nearby Salvation Army shelter. God’s Garage gave her a car within months, she said.
“I’ll always remember that day, April 11, 2017. Unbelievable. I mean, who does that? Who gives someone a car?” Garman told KHOU. “Miracles happen. One happened to me.”
God’s Garage is always looking for people to help, whether through volunteering, donating vehicles or donating funds. Visit their website godsgaragecar.com for more information. If you need assistance from God’s Garage, you can also apply online.