New Auto Shop on the Block: “Fix It Forward” Pays It Forward

The shop works with service organizations such as YWCA, the F5 Project, Rape and Abuse Crisis Center and CCRI

MOORHEAD, Minn. — Higher Power Automotive Ministries is a local nonprofit that opened two and a half years ago to fix cars at no cost for those in need.

They’ve grown tremendously since then, even opening up their first for profit shop: Fix It Forward.

One of the very first cars Higher Power Automotive Ministries donated was a minivan.

But it’s not the car that stuck out to co–founder Jeremy Jensen. It’s the woman, who was already back on her feet a year later.

“She redonated that to us and we were able to give that van out a second time. That was a really neat kind of affirmation of this is making a difference in people’s lives,” Jensen said.

Higher Power is continuing to make that difference in people’s lives throughout the metro with the opening of their for–profit auto shop Fix It Forward.

“The whole idea of starting this Fix It Forward Auto Care is to enable Higher Power to do more work and so now we’ve got a business with hired mechanics, skilled mechanics, fixing cars,” said Matt Carlson, High Power and Fix It Forward president.

Anytime someone brings their car to Fix It Forward, the money will pay it forward and go directly back into repairing cars for people who need services from Higher Power. Many of those who need repairs include people from the YWCA.

“We started with the YWCA and now there are more than 30 different service organizations in the Fargo–Moorhead area that we’ve partnered with,” Jensen said.

But that’s not the only thing that’s grown.

When Higher Power started, volunteers were fixing two cars a month. But last year, volunteers fixed more than 120 cars and they’ve given away 81.

“The donated cars come from members our community that have older cars they don’t want to fix. We go through and make sure everything works and send it out to somebody who it’ll make a big difference for,” Carlson said.

“It’s pretty powerful, pretty emotional. I can’t imagine what it’s like for people on the receiving end,” said Tim Fazekas, Higher Power volunteer.

Anyone who receives a car from Higher Power must be referred to them by a service organization in town.

Those who do get their car fixed there can then come back as many times as they’d like in the future.

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