Local Nonprofit Helps Single Moms by Fixing Cars – KXAN.com | Wonder Mind Kids

HUTTO, Texas (KXAN) — That was the last thing on Tamra Mangum’s mind — auto repairs.

Tamra Mangum has been a single mother for five years. (Courtesy of Casey Chapman-Ross Photography)

After her husband’s unexpected death, she said it was difficult to balance her family, personal life and work.

“There is usually a lot of support at the beginning. And you have a lot of people surrounding you and seeing how they can help,” Mangum said. “But if you go further down the road and somehow everyone goes back to their normal lives … you’re still left with what you know, raising your kids and taking care of a house and a car.”

Her family used to drive their suburban car to Christian Brothers Automotive in Hutto.

Mangum explained that when the store found out her husband had died, they wanted to make sure she never had any problems with the car.

“Gave me a list of all sorts of things they took care of that they felt needed to be done with my car and said that was all taken care of,” she said, “there was no cost to me what I did It was like there weren’t even words to describe what that meant to me.”

Founded as a non-profit to help single mothers

The auto repair shop offers single mothers free oil changes once a year, but the team wanted to do more.

The Hub Garage works with auto repair shops across the country to help single moms. (Courtesy of Casey Chapman-Ross Photography)

“A vehicle is not only based on transport. For her it’s – I have to go to the grocery store, I have to take the kids to school, how do I get the job. So it’s a lifeline for them,” said James Guzman, owner and president of Christian Brothers Automotive Hutto.

In 2020, Guzman partnered with Austin-based nonprofit The Hub Garage, which provides free auto repair services to single mothers.

“What they want us to say is, ‘Hey, look at the whole car.’ We don’t just want to service the brakes, you know, all the hoses are fine, you know? All brake lines, okay? Does the air conditioning work as obviously it’s hot here six months of the year. Is the heating working – preparing for the winter? How’s the radiator,’ Guzman said. “We have an overview of the entire vehicle. And we provide The Hub Garage with a rating and they tell us, okay, go ahead and get it all done.”

In the two years since its launch, The Hub Garage says it has repaired more than 800 vehicles nationwide, 80% of them in Texas. The nonprofit explained that single mothers save more than $2.5 million.

The Hub Garage has partnered with more than a hundred auto repair shops across the country to help single moms keep their cars on the road. To qualify, the auto repair shop submits information about the single mother, which is verified.

Cup Car Awareness

“Being a single mother is one of the toughest jobs in the world. So we made it our mission to help her keep moving,” The Hub Garage said on its website.

Jonathan Carr, the organization’s founder and CEO, said he has worked in the automotive industry for 15 years and has seen people taken advantage of, particularly single mothers and widows.

He said the idea started when the Christian Brothers franchise opened in Cedar Park on Saturdays and offered free oil changes to moms. Carr said he knew more could be done to help families.

The “Cup Car” was presented in November at the South Congress. (Courtesy: The Hub Garage)

To raise awareness, earlier this month The Hub Garage unveiled a life-size “Cup Car” made up of coffee cups parked along South Congress. The “Cup Car” is at the Caffe Medici on Springdale Rd. for National Day of Giving on Tuesday November 29th.

The Cup Car was created to raise awareness for millions of single mothers across the country who need reliable transportation to care for themselves and their families. While not a working car, the mug car will encourage people to donate what they normally spend on a cup of coffee to The Hub Garage. By doing so, they will help single mothers stay in the driver’s seat of their lives,” the nonprofit said in a press release.

Mangum said she was grateful for the help.

“My wish is that this brings awareness to a place where people can think about contributions. Whether it’s a monetary donation, sharing with a neighbor, or a simple prayer, I believe more single mothers will be blessed in the same way that I have,” she said. “Being a single parent isn’t easy, especially when you never imagined it would be. The blessings of contributing to partnerships like Hub Garage and Christian Brothers make a huge difference in the life of a single parent household.

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