09 Mar Mercy Mechanics: A Veteran And His Wife Team Up To Help Families Smile
My husband and I are a struggling family just like 88% of our community. I am extremely blessed that my husband is a mechanic because I would never be able to afford the parts or repairs, not even a tire, if it was needed. We are both disabled and have experienced some really tough times. I receive $900 a month from social security and my husband only receives $400 per month in VA benefits. We have slept in our car in a Walmart parking lot, crashed on the floor at friend’s house when it was too cold and gone without eating for days because we had no money for food. Even though we are doing everything we can to help those in need in our community, our financial struggles are still very real. We had power shut off and received a 3 day notice to vacate just this month. However, we have dealt with every issue as husband and wife. Our marital strength and faith in the Lord has kept us grounded.
Being poor sucks! And it is even tougher when you feel helpless, hopeless and have no help from family or resources. The emotional roller coaster of financial stress can push anyone to the edge. We want to help alleviate that from happening for others if we can.
Reggie started working on cars when he was 12 years old. He has had a passion for making cars run to the best of their ability without cutting corners. His grandfather instilled in him that when you do a job, you do it right, He also told him that you do it the best way you know how and finish the job you started with pride. Since I have known this man, that is exactly what he has done. He simply loves helping people and will not quit until the job is done.
When Reggie was 17, he and a friend signed up for the Navy together. In the summer of 1990, he went to boot camp. Later he was sent to serve in the Gulf War. While out on the ship, Reggie witnessed a Marine lose his balance and fall overboard, striking his head on the way down. Without hesitation, Reggie jumped overboard and saved that Marine’s life. To me, my husband is a hero. Reggie is very humble and doesn’t think that he is a hero. After the incident his superior requested that Reggie become the search and rescue for the ship.
When Reggie left the military, he went to mechanic school and became a certified mechanic. He is a brave man that has battled an internal war after he was diagnosed with graves disease, his thyroid was removed and later he was diagnosed with Sarcoidosis, an awful disease with no known cure. He has trouble breathing, suffers severe pain all over and struggles with issues in many systems in his body. Due to his medical condition, he is unable to work for a normal employer.
While we both are unable to work for others, due to disabilities, we have such a passion for helping people that are worse off than us and those going through the same financial struggles that we are. No one should have to ever face losing a job or their house because their car repair bill amounts to more money than they make in 2 weeks. So we decided to take Reggie’s mechanic skills and my business experience and put them together as an operation to help those who are hurting financially. After 5 days of brainstorming, Mercy Mechanics was born.
Mercy Mechanics was created about 10 weeks ago. Since we don’t have anything but a truck and some tools right now, we are a mobile non-profit organization. The tools we have are minimal, but Reggie knows how to make them work efficiently until we have a building to work on bigger jobs. We will travel to Baytown, TX and the surrounding communities. We have helped about 40 individuals and families repair, tow, or diagnose mechanical issues. We still have 100 more individuals and families anxiously waiting for our help. Reggie does all of the mechanic work, and I do everything else that is required to run the business.
God has been so amazing! We had two vehicles donated to our cause last weekend and the space to keep them. People were generous and offered tows to move the vehicles from Crosby to Baytown. Today another vehicle was donated from Spring, TX. We are growing in our community at a rapid rate. We really want to help as many people as we can. One of my biggest problems unfortunately is that I am only one person with only 24 hours in a day. Last weekend I stayed up for fifty-six hours straight and I still was not able to reach everyone. We use our personal finances to run the organization right now. We are relying on financial donations, sponsors and volunteers to reach as many as we can.
As a new organization our first 4 donations were 3 vehicles and a space to keep them. These vehicles will be either fixed to go to families in need or be parted out and scrapped. The money made from parts and the scrap metal will go right back into repairing cars clients that we have on our waiting list right now. We hope that by helping our community in the best way that we know how, we are helping people maintain the basic standard of living and increasing it with reliable transportation. Our ultimate goal is to have a piece of property with a house, a building for a mechanic shop, and room to build temporary housing to help those less fortunate get back on their feet.
After hearing two different family stories about what they are going through, we decided to see if we could do something more to help them for the holidays. I started a community Christmas drive and the response was unbelievable. We were able to take care of one family of five that has been struggling to find work with three small children. We also reached out to a widowed mother with three teens, who has no living family members, lost her job, her home, and now her car is in need of repair. We are so blessed to be able to help these families with as much as we can. Personal struggles can be heartbreaking and very depressing for some this time of year. Reggie and I feel that helping at least two families to smile and giving them a bit of relief is all worth it.
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