Shift Garage Christmas Car Giveaway
Shift Garage typically gives away around 30 vehicles a year, and this year, they are asking the public to get involved with a Christmas Car Giveaway.
RAPID CITY, S.D. — What started as a small serving group, a ministry out of Fountain Springs Church is now a standalone nonprofit organization that is volunteer led, repairing vehicles for those in need.
Chris Erickson, the Director of Shift Garage Rapid City, says, “But being a nontraditional repair shop, we try and service people who can’t take their vehicles to a traditional repair shop because financially they’re in difficult situations.”
An application process helps determine a client’s cost for repairs, which is a drastically reduced price. But clients also put in some equity.
Erickson says, “You’re getting 50 to 75 to 90 percent off on the cost of everything. Plus all the labor is free. We do tack on then. There’s a $50, we call it like a motivational charge because then we tell people for this $50, you go and you take one of these classes. We have classes through credit consumer counseling and pretty soon through Black Hills Fed and they get a certificate of completion saying they did those classes. They come back, bring that to us. They get their $50 back because our big thing is we don’t want repeat customers. We want to be able to help you this time. And then that puts you in a better situation financially so that you can take it to someone in town that can potentially do more. They have higher capacity and then you can pay for that. The big thing we want to see, though, is gumption that you are trying to get yourself back on your feet.”
Living without a vehicle can be very challenging.
“Our worlds are so small when you don’t have a vehicle. And and so it’s it’s hopefully every time we’re making people’s worlds a little bit bigger, the hope of like, ‘OK, I can, I can go out. I can do this,’” says Erickson.
Erickson says Shift typically gives away around 30 vehicles a year, and this year, they are asking the public to get involved with a Christmas Giveaway. Through the Shift Garage Facebook and website, from November 22 until December 3, people can go nominate a family who is in need of a vehicle, then the public can vote for the family they want to get the vehicle.
And for the families not chosen, Erickson hopes others take up the opportunity to pay it forward.
“So I would frankly love some family that even though their story was heard, they didn’t get a vehicle from us,” he said. “Someone else was like, ‘You know what? I can bless you in a different way.’ We just we hope that it kind of becomes contagious of people wanting to share and bless.”
They will be announcing the winner December 22.
This year, Shift Garage celebrated 10 years in the Rapid City community and now have an outreach in Sioux Falls. They are also putting together a mentorship program.
“So we’re always looking for volunteers. And if you have any capacity to fix vehicles or even just a desire would love to have you if you visit our website, shiftgrage.org. You can sign up to volunteer. But the other big way to help is financially.”