St. Luke’s “Drive it Forward” car ministry helps community members in need of reliable transportation keep their vehicles in top shape with complementary oil changes and maintenance days. The next oil change event is Saturday, July 31 on St. Luke’s campus.
“Drive it Forward” is a part of St. Luke’s five-year vision to Restore Hope for families facing homelessness and childhood hunger. Lack of reliable and affordable transportation is one of the top five barriers for our neighbors in Central Florida. Volunteer mechanics perform oil changes, top off fluids, and complete minor system checks to help maintain vehicles. New volunteers are always welcome to serve as hospitality hosts, help with car preparation or clean-up, or work on vehicles. Opportunities for youth apprentices are also available. Click here to learn more.
Lee Haire, our “Drive it Forward” lead volunteer, shared that, “This growing new ministry at St. Luke’s focuses on areas of transportation that impact us all, but mostly those who are marginalized in today’s economy. Many of us take for granted our transportation because we have the ability to afford maintenance and repairs. However, some struggle with reliable transportation and their livelihood depends on independent mobility to make a living. In addition, there are those who are uncomfortable having their car maintained because they may have encountered service organizations that prey on those who do not know much about their automobile.”
The first “Drive it Forward” event was held in January 2021. Many volunteers came to assist, and more than twenty cars were serviced. The car ministry had technicians from St. Luke’s, Lockheed Martin, and Universal Studios all pitching in to help.
“As our service ministry expands, we also wish to grow in other areas. At our next event we are going to focus on empowerment. People who have a dependency for their transportation at a level which could be a danger to their success in life often live in fear of their automobile failing. We wish to instill both empowerment and confidence in individuals by teaching basic steps to evaluate a car between maintenance leading to increased confidence in an automobile’s reliability. Removing stress and fear can make a big difference in a person’s life,” said Haire.
Using a customized multi-point inspection sheet, mechanics check for common issues that arise and help clients mitigate car trouble before it begins. “Our main objective is service to others, something Christ talks about in Matthew 25…He did not directly say when my car needed maintenance, you changed my oil, but I feel that is just as powerful as any of the other barriers he talked about,” Haire continued.
For more information and ways to get involved with “Drive it Forward,” contact St. Luke’s Director of Missions, Amy Winslow.