Lloyd Weller. Photos courtesy of Nate’s Community Garage
Veterans who need to get back on the road can do so with the help of a Cannon Falls based nonprofit.
Nate’s Community Garage helps low-income individuals and any Veteran living in Dakota, Goodhue, and Rice Counties with necessary car repairs. They launched in February 2020, and in less than six months, helped more than a dozen families.
According to Alisha Fitzpatrick from Nate’s Community Garage, the group handles repairs which only address safety concerns that will ensure safe transportation.
“There is a huge void in the area when it comes to helping with car repairs,” Fitzpatrick said. “We have done tons of research and come up with not much information to help those who need help. Car repairs are essential—and a means of giving someone independence and stability.”
Katie Gerlach from Faribault brought her 2011 Ford Escape to Nate’s. “I found out about two weeks into owning it, that there were so many issues that needed to be repaired,” Gerlach said. “I was so exhausted and sick just thinking about how to make ends meet while affording these costly repairs.”
After applying, Gerlach received new brakes on her vehicle, thanks to the work of Nate’s. “The time there went so quick as all the employees made sure we were fine and if I needed anything,” Gerlach added. “They kept us smiling and full of laughs. It was like we were right at home with a best friend.”
“We rely solely on donations and small grants,” Fitzpatrick said. “So 95% is donations from the community around us and our events. We do charge clients 25% of the total car repair (up to $1,000), plus applicable sales tax. We cover the other 75%.”
In addition to donations, Nate’s Community Garage accepts new car parts. They are also starting to host events to expand their outreach.
Those who are interested in receiving services from Nate’s Community Garage are encouraged to fill out an application on their website or Facebook page. They do follow household income guidelines, which are available on their website.
Lavender’s Serve Our Society series features Minnesota-based nonprofits. To nominate an organization, email [email protected].