And you wont' believe what happened next! We paid 80% of their bill for them. "Why" you ask? "How" you ask? Two words: JumpStart Fund.
Barb and Doug have a large family and so need a large vehicle. Vehicles for larger families are harder to come by and therefore more expensive. The vehicle they brought in, although it needed a lot of repair work, was in relatively good condition. This is the first item on the JumpStart checklist. The vehicle we are repairing needs to be worth more than the amount of money we are investing in it.
Doug is working full time now but had been out of work for awhile due to health concerns, financially things had gotten behind. Barb has her own business. Doug and Barb both volunteer for local organizations , doing what they can to make a better community. This is the item two and three on the JumpStart checklist. The customer is employed and/or volunteering and need a vehicle to make their life work.
Our JumpStart Fund is designed to assist people who are classified as the "working poor". The term "working poor" is pretty much what it sounds like. The person is working but they are still struggling financially! The experts say an unexpected bill of $200.00 for the working poor can start the slide into crisis. In our experience , a large vehicle repair bill can lead to people having to make really hard decisions - like choosing between food, rent and vehicle repair. Or the repair bill can begin a debt spiral which could take months or years to dig their way out of.
Our safety repair grant offers one time repair assistance so people can keep moving forward. This is how we were able to help pay Barb and Doug's repair bill. We use our profits (after operating costs) to fund JumpStart. This means every one of our customers is part of helping to pay it forward. And in the times we don't make a profit (it happens a lot in the mechanic industry!) we partner with local organizations to make it work.
Barb and Doug are safely back on the road today because of each one of our customers and help from other community organizations. We look forward to helping many more families safely get back on the road. Do you know someone who could use a JumpStart? We would love to meet them.
If you would like to see how else you can help by using our shop CLICK HERE
Kimberly Ferland/Good News Auto
The reason we started Good News Auto was to create our JumpStart Fund. The reason we created our JumpStart Fund was to help people in our community. We have both succeeded and failed in this. As we have learned the most effective ways to help people in our community we have met some amazing people. Brave people , many of the them single parents, who, in spite of many judgments out there, continue to ask for help, to make themselves vulnerable and accept help offered to them.
One such woman is Beth. We met Beth when we offered vehicle for sale through JumpStart (that’s a story for another post!). We didn’t have anything available at the time so off she went to purchase a vehicle on her own. She did her best and we didn’t meet her again until about a year later. She brought in a vehicle she had bought and we had to tell her the bad news: her vehicle had a lot of problems! She had done everything to the best of her ability to buy a safe vehicle for her and her children but, like many others, had not been successful. Her biggest concern was her children. Nothing but that mattered so we started working together to figure out how to solve her problem.
She is a very determined person, she listened to all the hard information we told her and never gave up. She signed on for our Matched Savings program, attended all the Car Care workshops we offer and began working hard to fix her current vehicle. The very difficult part of this was the vehicle she had purchased needed a lot of attention, more than she (or us) believed was wise for her to invest.
Then, the best part of what Good News Auto did happened. A long term customer graciously donated his vehicle. We have long dreamed of a being a repair shop where community takes care of each other and this was an amazing example of our dream becoming reality. The vehicle needed a significant amount of repair and with the help of our partner, Sherwood Park Alliance Church, we were able to complete those repairs and pass the vehicle on to Beth. She was beyond excited and so were we.
In big ways, like donating a vehicle, and in small ways, like making a donation when attending our Car Care workshops , we are able to, as a community, help people continue their journey.