Home January 2015 Revving up the engines of compassion

Revving up the engines of compassion

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Car shops established by Vancouver minister aim to help

VANCOUVER, Wash. — The wheels keep turning. Not only those on cars fixed at the two auto shops established by local Christian ministry founder Mike Miller, but also the wheels inside Miller’s creative mind that come up with moreways to help people.

As outlined recently in the Vancouver Business Journal, Miller, who three decades ago founded the Dare to Live outreach to teenagers and who several years ago established The Carpenter’s Garage to help the poor, this year started a second car mechanic business with hopes of helping youth in Clark County.

While The Carpenter’s Garage is a non-profit business, My Auto Repair Center — located at the same joint location of 11010 N.E. 37th Circle, Suite 100 — is for profit but nevertheless has an altruistic goal. Miller hopes to make enough of a profit from it to eventually build a youth center with a drug-free emphasis.

“Our long-term goal is to raise the funding needed to open a youth center for kids in our area, giving them an outlet to have a safe and fun environment go when other organizations are not open to the public,” states the new shop’s web site.

The 10-bay, $500,000 garage opened last March. According to Miller, My Auto Repair Center is a members-only state-of-the-art auto repair facility where members have exclusive access to the same high-quality maintenance and repairs found at other facilities at deeply discounted prices.
Individual memberships start with a on-time fee or $100 plus an annual fee of $50, and businesses, non-profit organizations, government agencies and farmers and ranchers can join for $250 yearly.

Dare to Live is a nationally recognized program, focusing on teen sucide prevention, self-esteem and drug and alochol issues. Miller — who has also made a living as a motivational speaker, firefigher, paramedic, published author, fire department chaplain and property developer — has spoken to more than 3 million teens in 25 states and three Canadian provinces.

About eight years ago Miller realized there was a large need for a shop that provided auto repair and maintenance services for those faced with financial hardship. He started The Carpenter’s Garage to provide those services at discounted rates based on eachcustomer’s fiscal situations.

Since then The Carpenter’s Garage has given back more than $1 million to the community in scholarships and discounted parts and labor charges.

Miller told the Vancouver business newspaper that because the two shops share facilities and staff, technicians never know if they are working on a for-profit car, or helping a financial stapped customers. In either case, the vehicles receives the same quality care, he said.

Miller added that in the years of operating the auto repair businesses, he has never paid himself a dime in personal income and he fully intends to keep it that way.

For more information on the shop, go to www.MyAutoRepairCenter.com or phone 360-719-2725. For more on Miller and Dare to Live, go to www.daretolive.com.