Nonprofit auto garage offers reduced cost service to certain Johnson County residents

Hoosiers Finding Hope

JOHNSON COUNTY, Ind. — An auto garage in Johnson County offers to do vehicle maintenance and other minor repairs at the cost of parts for a group of residents.  

The garage is connected to Stones Crossing Church in Greenwood. 

It helps those who can’t afford costly and unexpected repairs. 

“Ultimately our goal is to help people stay safe on the roads,” said Stones Auto Service founder Charlie Polcher. 

Volunteer mechanics do the work. 

“[They do] pretty much anything that you can get done at a shop that doesn’t require any major specialty tools or extensive labor hours,” said Volunteer Mechanic Jack Foth. 

They do this for single parents, widows and the elderly on a fixed income. 

“So, you have this single mom who’s trying to get to work every day and her car’s starting to make a noise, she’s going to keep driving it that way cause she needs to get to work and needs to get her kids to school,” said Polcher. 

They operate on Tuesday by appointment from 5:30 to 8 p.m., and only charge the cost of parts. 

“The average repair order on a vehicle throughout the United States is over $600. And not everybody just has an extra $600 just laying around to drop at the drop of a hat to fix their cars.”

It’s a service people like Erin Jackson are grateful for. 

“It helps me save money,” Jackson said. 

She is a single mom of two kids and says she’s gone there for about the past two years after a friend recommended it to her. 

“I had a check engine light on, and I needed brakes. And she’s like, ‘Oh, I know this really cool place they’re a nonprofit, they can do XY and Z’,” said Jackson. 

Terri Thorpe says she’s been going since her husband passed away. 

“It’s been a blessing, because of the finances,” said Thorpe.  “When my husband passed away, I wasn’t working. And I took care of him, so it helped a lot.” 

She brought her friend Marie Fauris, who says the shop keeps her 21-year-old van running. 

“Every time the brakes or the oil, or things like that go wrong, I’m in here,” said Fauris. 

The garage celebrates its fifth year anniversary in September. So far, they’ve made 1,500 repairs and given away nearly 30 vehicles. 

It’s a faith-based organization, and this is all work Polcher says they’ve been called to do. 

“This is a way that I felt I could use some of the skills that God’s blessed me with to serve our neighbors, to love our neighbors to fit a very tangible need in our community.” 

You can make an appointment here on their website

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