Elite Auto Garage in Bark River spreads hope, one car at a time
Fix it Forward is a non-profit started by the owner.
BARK RIVER, Mich. (WLUC) - A Bark River auto repair shop is making a difference in the community, one car at a time.
Russell West has been a mechanic for more than a decade. He’s an Automotive Service Excellence Master and state-certified as a mechanic.
Last July, he opened Elite Auto Garage in Bark River, across from Dollar General.
“I enjoy working on the cars and that’s what I feel that I am a gift that God has given me so I feel like that is something I can use to help people,” said Russell West, owner/operator of Elite Auto Garage.
Before he became a business owner. he didn’t have a car. Some friends had his family over for dinner and the neighbors surprised him with a vehicle.
“We were just in shock. They didn’t just give us a car; they gave us hope and that’s kind of our idea behind Fix it Forward,” said West.
Fix it Forward is West’s new non-profit. He fixes up used cars donated by people in the community and then he gives them away to people in need.
“They give them to us, where they don’t want to fix them, or they just have an extra car that they don’t want,” said West. “We’re not only giving people cars, we’re giving them hope as well.”
After diagnosing each car, he turns to the community for help buying supplies.
“People have been donating money for parts or even some people have given us gas cards for the people that we’re donating cars to,” said West.
West has already given away three cars and has a couple more he’s still working on.
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