Mechanic Gives A “Lifting” Hand

Ever feel like your being "hoodwinked"

When your car has mechanical problems, it can cause a real dent in you budget especially when the budget is tight.  What choice do we have but to accept what the mechanic says the problem might be… need your car!  Right?  Have you ever experienced the feeling of “dah” when the mechanic is explaining the problem?  And deep down you know your being “hoodwinked.”  I think most of us have been in this position.

Cathy Heying decided to do something about it.  Coming from a career as a social worker to the world of mechanics was a big change.  Cathy felt if no one else was going to do something about the high cost of repairs, she would.  Heying explains, “I did not grow up working on cars. I did not have a father that wrenched on cars. It was not part of my life growing up. I taught myself a few things (like) changing oil. But for the most part, I had no skills around car maintenance. I cried all the way to school the first day ’cause I was like, “What have I done?” So it was terrifying and overwhelming. And at least three solid times in that first quarter, I was like, “I’m quitting. I cannot do this.”

Social Worker turned Mechanic

Cathy Heying- From Social Worker to Mechanic

Cathy calls her shop “The Lift” and if you don’t think her customers appreciate this non profit, read what one her customers says.  “When I was a low income single mom one of my biggest stresses was worrying about my vehicle, you have no idea how amazing a service you are doing!!”

 Mechanic Cartoon

The Lift Garage Mission

The Lift Garage offers people a vehicle out of poverty by:

– providing low-cost quality car repair;

– connecting with community partners to strengthen the support network; and

– linking customers with other needed resources.

The Lift Garage does so much for others because they’ve been there and know what it’s like to endure the high cost of the repairs for a vehicle.  And many times these cost come with a “scam” involved.

There are many ways you can support the services that The Lift Garage provides.

  • Make a monthly sustaining gift A monthly sustaining gift helps us budget more effectively and provides important ongoing support of our work.
  • Make a one-time donation We are always grateful for your support in any dollar amount
  • Find out if your employer matches donations!

The Spirit of Giving


One of my classmates sent a message on Facebook yesterday. “Help, Help, Help!  I need a prom dress for a girl who can’t afford to purchase one.”   My classmate is now a school teacher for the high school we both attended.  And she identified this need in one of her students.  I suggested a few of us get together and rally up money so this student might be able to purchase one.  This request had to be immediate because the prom was taking place in 2 days.  As I was sending this message, a woman was calling and said she had a dress in the correct size and would be glad to donate.  Also, at the same time, messages started coming through the Facebook thread, “Does she need jewelry?”…”I know someone who will do her hair.”….”What about shoes?”…”I will donate some money.”  A Spirit of Giving began to pour like rain and all at once!

What attracts this type of spirit to give immediately and without thought for your own needs?  For me, the word prom brought back such great memories and a feeling of being and looking the best I’ve ever looked and felt. It brought back a feeling of such great expectations for prom night and how much fun it was going to be for me and all of my friends. Someone else who gave to this student said, it brought back memories of not being able to attend because of the same reason this student was not going to attend….he couldn’t afford to go. Whether the memory was good, bad, sad, or regretful, there was still a feeling about that occasion. I’m sure everyone else has some feelings of their own.  However, we all identified in one way or another.

In How To Write Fundraising Materials That Raise Money by Tom Ahern, he speaks on being “Donor-Centric” This term is identified as moving the responsibility onto the donors shoulders.  It’s almost like a second chance to experience the good again or either create what was a bad experience a good one now, even if it is through someone else.  And as a result, donors feel good when they know they’ve made something happen worthwhile.  And through that spirit of giving, it feels great to know that mission sought was achieved.

Well, this young lady’s prom is tomorrow evening and I’m happy to say, she has a prom dress, her hair will be done, shoes are purchase, and jewelry to match. And as an added bonus, this student has money to dine at a fancy restaurant for the evening. As for us donors, the day ended just as it began. Facebook comments pouring in consistently. But this time, it was expressions of accomplishment and high fives.  We talked about how this young lady will never get that time back and she’ll have great memories because we all made it happen through a Spirit of Giving.  Great job team!

A Spirit to Give