Kindness Matters

2 02 2015



“But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,”

~ Matthew 6:3, NIV

Ever since Community Automotive Repair’s inception, this company has been built (literally) on charitable initiatives.  If you know our back story, it’s not something we’ve intentionally promoted to date.  This is in large part due to the Biblical verse cited above.  Now, any of you that have been around for awhile also know that we’re people of faith, but just the same it’s not been something we openly advertise.  We believe our actions should speak for themselves but then there’s that slight rub that says people of faith shouldn’t hide behind their beliefs.  All this to say, we’re not interested in being forceful about our morals or values, but we’re happy to share them with people that may inquire.  Being in business requires you/us to operate within ethical guidelines that dictate what level of transparency we may have in regards to our own personal beliefs.  It’s unfortunate to a degree, but painfully accurate.

To that end, we’ve almost never made a point to call attention to good works in which we may be involved.  We’ve engaged with local and regional endeavors in secret, for the most part.  However, that was then, and as Bob Dylan prophetically spoke years ago… the times, they are a changin’!  While we maintain it’s not our desire to shamelessly broadcast our philanthropic arm, we do believe there’s merit in partnering with you to maximize the benefit of these offerings.  How else would you be able to engage unless you were aware on some level?  In short, you wouldn’t.

As we’ve observed a significant percentage of our local friends launching their own charitable campaigns, we mostly (up to this point) have stood quietly along the sidelines.  We’ve had to discern our place in the fold, and that hasn’t been easy.  Perhaps it shouldn’t have been this difficult, but we submit it likely was because of our steadfast wrestling with being a sustainable and profitable local business, as opposed to building our legacy in private.  Suffice to say, our decision to be either of these entities was not made sheepishly or without laboring over the most appropriate way to do so.

Today, we’re happy to introduce you to three specific relationships we’ve had, in hopes (should you be willing and able) you may come alongside our efforts and help make an even bigger impact for these benefactors.  By design, we’ve given of our time, energy, or resources to benefit the following local organizations:

ICCF (Inner City Christian Federation) – providing affordable (and in some cases emergency) housing to those in need, learn more at

Kids’ Food Basket – attacking childhood hunger in West Michigan by providing sack suppers and empowering kids to help each other through educational programming, learn more at

Congress Plus – an afterschool (latch-key type) program within our neighbor Congress Elementary School’s campus, specifically designed to help local kids achieve greater leadership through elevated liberal arts programming.  Currently Congress Plus doesn’t have much of an online presence, but more information about Congress Elementary School is available at

We launched Kindness Matters infrastructure last year to better manage our continued support of these fine groups.  With that, our hope is to slowly release campaigns on site that promote different levels of engagement, in which you will be able to participate as little or as much as you’re able.  We hope arriving at this place of more public disclosure doesn’t misconstrue our sincere mission to assist these wonderful people without drawing attention to ourselves.  This isn’t about us, and we can’t express explicitly enough how the desire of our heart is that these organizations would receive the spotlight they both need and deserve.  It has been our deep pleasure to help where we’re able, and we’re even more eager to make a greater impact with your help.

We anticipate early 2nd quarter will introduce some opportunities for you to get involved, should you be interested. For example, services rendered at our place of business may include some credits to grow our donation, which in turn would become OUR collective gift.  Doing this alone all these years hasn’t been an exercise in futility, just that now we believe the power and influence of many can (and likely will) make an exponential difference.

Thank you for ongoing trust and confidence.  We don’t take the opportunity to serve you lightly, and greatly appreciate you choosing our local small business to address all your automotive service/repair needs.

Lastly, the aforementioned website upgrade is almost complete, and we hope to have a more user friendly and technologically advanced (read as quicker) space on the internet by the end of this month.

Kindness matters, friends… and so do you.



Join Us

13 05 2013


These two words (refer to subject heading) are the mantra of the 2nd Annual Fund Drive for The Rapidian (05.14.13 – 05.19.13).  We can appreciate if this causes you to flashback to a riveting scene of Star Wars, where Darth Vader himself is using the Force to convince Luke to “join” the Dark Side.  However, we assure you this story has a far better ending, not to mention the lack of some fairly awkward family lineage.

No, this is an entirely different journey altogether.  We have been proud supporters of The Rapidian for two years now, and we’re pleased to come alongside this latest effort to gather resources for their (and ultimately our, as in you AND us) benefit.  You see, as will be adequately described HERE, joining this community is far more rewarding than one may realize.  This is a driving force (of course, not to be confused with the aforementioned Force) that makes things happen, but we/you make it possible for them to effect positive change.  We work in concert, to help shape the future of our respective areas, but more importantly the people within them.

Community Automotive Repair has enjoyed our local alliance, if you will, that consists of all arms of the Grand Rapids Community Media Center (WYCE, Wealthy Theatre, GRTV, The Rapidian), Local First of West Michigan, and Uptown (East Fulton, Wealthy, East Hills, and Eastown).  We’re all family, and each of us wish to see one another thrive.  What’s more is that, we truly receive the greatest confirmation when people within our collective community are the benefactor of these fine organizations’ work and mission.

Among other things, this blog will continue to be a place we’ve reserved for updates, events, and other notable news from our local partners.  As it pertains specifically to this initiative, The Rapidian needs our (and your) help today.

Ways you can become involved are as follows:

Stopping by their office at 1110 Wealthy St SE
Call: 616.459.4788 ext. 124
Donate online HERE

Or for those of you on facebook, you can join their event page that contains all necessary details HERE.

On behalf of all our local friends, thank you for considering how you might Join Us.

(after all, these ARE the droids you’re looking for)


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10 x 10

17 08 2012

CAR is taking the Pledge!

In another case where the announcement speaks for itself, all of us at Community Automotive Repair are proud to share and support this year’s Local First 2012 campaign, 10 x 10.  The potential impact of this program is enough to make great strides in our local marketplace.  We’re pleased to do our part by promoting, participating, and providing encouragement to all those choosing to accept this challenge.  And so without further ado, here’s the official press release our friends made available a couple days ago, in which instructions on how to get involved are clearly explained.

Please consider joining us.  We greatly look forward to making a big difference, collectively.


August 15, 2012
Contact: Seth Galligan

(616) 808-­‐3788

Local First Launches 10×10 Pledge to raise $100,000 for the local food system.

10×10 Pledgers will shift $10 of their weekly food budget to local food for 10 weeks.  Local First aims to get 1000 people to sign the pledge who will together shift $100,000 to the local food system.
The Pledge: I pledge to be part of a healthy, sustainable food system by shifting $10 of my weekly food budget for 10 weeks toward local food sources. 

The 10×10 Pledge, presented by Valley City Linen, starts on August 28th and will last for 10 weeks.  Local First is aiming to have 1000 people sign by the start date but will welcome late joiners.  During the ten weeks, Local First and the many sponsors (listed and linked below) of the 10×10 Pledge will provide support for pledgers in the form of emails including information about how to get the best local food, deals, recipes, and “eat local” tips.  Support for pledgers will come in the form of social network interactions via a Facebook Group “The 10×10 Pledgers,” and conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #10×10.  Local First will also host numerous free workshops that will be open to pledgers and the general public.

The main objective of the pledge is to show how easy it is to make a big difference in our local food system.  A 10×10 pledger can start with something as simple as finding a local source for their morning coffee.  For someone who is already skilled at getting food locally, they might need to be more creative in finding that extra $10 a week to shift to a local food producer.  Local First hopes to hit the goal of 1000 pledgers this year and aims to expand that in years to come.  If in the future 10,000 people, just around 5% of the population of Grand Rapids, sign the pledge, a shift of $1 million dollars could be created.  The 10×10 Pledge will conclude on October 30th and Fork Fest, a grand finale celebration featuring over 30 of the best local food and beverage producers will be held in the Greenhouse at Romence Gardens on October 18th.  The pledge can be taken HERE.

[Social Networking]

Facebook Group: “The 10×10 Pledgers”

Twitter Hashtag:
Presenting Sponsor: Valley City Linen
Hosting Sponsor: Romence Gardens & Greenhouses
Print Sponsor: Crop Marks

10×10 Pledge Sponsors:
West Michigan Food Co-­‐op
Forest Hills Foods
Reds on the River
Bearboy Gourmet
Brewery Vivant
Superior Foods
Lubbers Family Farm

Blog Sponsors:
Eat Local, West Michigan!
Kitchen Stewardship

Local First is a nonprofit organization supporting sustainable economic development in West Michigan. Representing nearly 600 local business members, Local First is the largest “Buy Local” organization in the Midwest and the 3rd largest per capita in the United States. For more information on Local First and its efforts to promote a local living economy in West Michigan, please visit

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Happy FrEEday!

24 06 2011

06.24.11 marks the launch of another small way we hope to give back to all of you that have supported Community Automotive Repair.

We made it clear from the beginning that we would never lobby or become political for somebody’s vote to “like” us. That said, it took a long time for us to develop a manner in which to grow this social presence and stay committed to our original core values.

In several talks we’ve had with other small businesses we’re fortunate to call neighbors, partners, and friends… we’ve arrived at one simple solution we hope meets your approval.

We’d like more people to know about us (doesn’t that go without saying?) but we don’t tolerate popularity contests. That’s why we invite you to share information about this (what will likely be one of many others to come) small promotion with other you know would directly benefit from hearing about it.

We’d like to introduce you to Free Friday (or FrEEday for short). Every Friday going forward we’re going to give you the opportunity to win a valuable service for FREE. We took a poll and found that most customers are interested in the opportunity to pay ZERO for the oil change service to be done on their vehicle. You made that clear and now it’s time to give you what you’ve requested.

We’re leading with and may stick with one FREE standard oil change service every Friday in 2011. The way this works is very easy.

We’re asking at least 5% (based on our actual current amount of “fans”) of you to “like” our FrEEday post each week. That 5% number will increase as more people add Community Automotive Repair’s page to their feed (new “likes” of the page). Once that 5% mark is reached in “likes” of the FrEEday post every week, the amount of people IN WEST MICHIGAN that make up that 5% will be entered into a daily drawing for FREE service.

The more people you tell, the quicker we reach the qualifying point for the contest each week. 5% response is not difficult, especially as the total number of people following the contest increases. In the interest of full disclosure, this gives you an opportunity to share the news (and participate yourself) of FREE service(s) and it helps us grow our brand and social presence.  Bottom line, we’ve partnered with you in creating a win/win proposition.

OK, now you know how everything works… just a few conditions to cover and it’s GO time.
1) employees and their immediate family members are not eligible to win, but they may still participate if they choose
2) oil change service in particular is limited to standard, premium and synthetic options are available – customer simply needs to pay the difference in cost
3) oil offered for this promotion is limited to 5 quarts – customer to pay difference if vehicle requires additional oil
4) contest offer and rules are subject to change

Who wants FREE service(s)?

Happy FrEEday!

MyArea Card (MAC) chooses CHANGE

8 06 2011

If we were betting people, we’d be willing to wager that you’ve heard of the Entertainment Book.  You know, the multi-colored coupon oriented publication that you most likely purchased to support a school fundraiser a time or two (or more).  Well, were you aware that there’s another form of receiving equal benefits that doesn’t require you to carry around a book?

That’s right, entering into the scene is a new technology offered by Grand Rapid’s own MyArea Card.  Have you spotted MAC around town?

Community Automotive Repair is one of hundreds of other local businesses/organizations featured in this new program.  For $25 you receive a card no bigger than a typical credit card, but we guarantee it can’t/won’t create a similar burden.  No use of credit here, pay the one time $25 fee and start SAVING money – it’s that simple!

MyArea Card and Community Automotive Repair have partnered to offer you significant discounts on quality services in West Michigan, but MyArea Card can also be utilized as a fund raising vehicle (much like its predecessor, Entertainment Book).

Even better, MyArea Card has graciously offered a FREE pre-activated membership ($25 value) to all parties that preregister to CHANGE by 06/17.  Have you chosen CHANGE?

Family Haven

16 05 2011


Family Haven is one of many services that ICCF offers our community.  We count it a privilege to partner with this fine organization, which is why it is our pleasure to offer “Change Your Oil… Change A Life” on June 18, 2011.  100% of all monies received this day will go directly to ICCF.  A large group of generous sponsors have made it possible to offer this event with absolutely no additional overhead expenses.  What this means for you is that every penny of your donation will be forwarded to our benefactor.

Did you know that Family Haven provides quality, clean and private shelter for homeless families in Grand Rapids? Five apartments accommodate homeless families free of charge for up to thirty days.  Were you aware that Family Haven also offers financial counseling, employment assistance, a clothing pantry, food pantry, linen closet, Bible study and children’s activities?  These services remain available to the family even after they are back on their feet.  ICCF is committed to these families, to make sure they not only recover but that firm ground is underneath them as well.

Please strongly consider choosing CHANGE and Changing A Life!  RSVP today at

Choose CHANGE.

9 05 2011

ICCF benefit 2011



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