WINCHESTER — Brad Hindman combined his passion for helping the community with his skill as a mechanic to help make Mission Auto Repair a reality.
The business at 2409 Valley Ave., which opened in March, offers regular auto services while lending a hand to Winchester Rescue Mission to help people experiencing homelessness.
When a vehicle is brought in for servicing, Mission Auto Repair in turn helps the rescue mission. For example, an oil change provides a meal for someone at the mission while an alignment or air conditioner servicing provides a box meal for a family in need. A brake replacement funds an overnight stay.
Some months include special services. This month, an oil change means two meals for the rescue mission, which is located at 435 N. Cameron St.
“It took a lot of brainstorming. It needs to be tangible. People need to see it,” Hindman said about the concept, which was born out of conversation with Brandan Thomas, the rescue mission's executive director. “It’s easy to say we’re going to support something, but how do you do that? I think it gives accountability and tangibility to what we’re saying we’re going to do. So, we tied it to services.”
Hindman keeps a running tally of meals provided and families fed on the shop’s website and Facebook page. As of midday Wednesday, 64 meals have been provided to the rescue mission and 12 families have been fed.
Customers don’t have to do anything except make an appointment for their vehicle's servicing. Hindman keeps track of the services rendered and what that means for the rescue mission.
The shop also supports the rescue mission by taking care of its vehicles. And a mentorship program will begin at the shop to help people returning to the workforce.
“Hopefully this helps bring awareness to issues with homelessness and mental health,” Hindman said. “A lot of times, it’s easy for a lot of people to sweep under the rug.”
The shop also plans to work with a program called Automotive Angel that partners with churches to help people who need financial assistance getting their vehicle repaired.
“It’s my desire to be able to help the community and individuals while also providing a really excellent service to the general public,” Hindman said. “We want them to know that when they bring their vehicle here, it’ll be serviced and fixed correctly and that we have a nice place here."
The shop was built around 2013 but had been closed for about a year before Hindman acquired it. It had lifts and service bays, but Hindman did some remodeling before the shop opened.
Hindman started working on cars when he was about 12 years old and has been in the industry since the 1980s. He always thought about owning his own shop, but didn't know if it would happen.
He said he joined the Celebrate Recovery ministry about six years ago to help with anxiety and other issues and found “help and healing” and decided he wanted to get more involved helping others, which led to Mission Auto Repair.
“I have a heart for people who hurt,” Hindman said. “We have all have stuff, and we all struggle. Some people it might impact more than others.”
Contact Mission Auto Repair at 540-546-3547.