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'Let’s Go' Is Christian Bros’ Mantra to Fix Cars for Single Moms


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“The pace at which we are able to move to serve women and serve a lot of women quickly, I am just fired up about it,” said Jonathan Carr about Christian Bros. Automotive's plan to fix donated cars and give them to single mothers in Houston.

“There are 24,000 single women in Houston living under the poverty line, and I want to just knock that down in the next 10 years,” declared Jonathan Carr, president of Christian Brothers Automotive Foundation. 

His vehicle to meet that goal is The Hub Garage, a new 501(c)3 organization including a car repair center now being outfitted in Houston, the franchise’s headquarters. The Hub Garage will accept donations of used cars and then fix them using their own technicians-in-training as well as students in vocational training programs eventually. 

Franchisees in the Christian Bros’ 200 shops in 30 states will also accept cars to repair during their down time, with a Hub Garage planned one day for more of those markets, he said.

How many cars can they fix? “I’ve been running a lot of numbers on that. A good goal for us is, if we can have about 1,500 vehicles donated, we would be able to give 1,000 vehicles away to single moms,” said Carr, son of founder Mark Carr and brother to Donnie Carr, all of whom are still active in the business.

Mark Carr started Christian Brothers Automotive with a goal to give away 10 percent of its gross revenue each year. “My dad committed to that years ago, and as the years have gone by that number has grown to $2.5 million a year,” Carr said. About a year ago, the family members began talking about ways to make a greater impact.

“We’re faith-based. We said, we have this entity of money, how do we get the best ROI on Jesus, the best ROI on loving your neighbor that we can?” Carr said, and the idea grew from there. But the focus on single moms goes back to the beginning.

“There’s an anecdote my dad talks about all the time, and one of his main motivations for Christian Brothers. A single mom came in; she got ripped off by a shop down the street, and he got mad and went down there. It’s trickled down in the company, where people have their love and their mission,” he said.

“We’re set up for this,” he added. “The pace at which we are able to move to serve women and serve a lot of women quickly, I am just fired up about it.” He said he’s been studying the idea, running the numbers and trying a pilot program for months, and is excited to get going.

“We’re going to start fixing some cars,” he said. “Let’s go. Let’s go.”

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The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
 
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is senior editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
 
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
 
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at
 twitter.com/mlarson1011.
 

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