Elite Auto Garage spreads hope, one car at a time

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ESCANABA, Mich. (WLUC) – A Bark River auto repair shop is making a difference in the community, one car at a time.

Russell West has been a mechanic for over a decade. He is a Master of Automotive Service Excellence and a state diploma as a mechanic.

Last July, he opened Elite Auto Garage in Bark River, across from Dollar General.

“I love working on cars and that’s what I think is a gift that God gave me, so I feel like it’s something I can use to help people,” said Russell West, owner/operator of Elite Auto Garage.

before becoming a business owner. he had no car. Friends invited his family to dinner and neighbors surprised him with a vehicle.

“We were just in shock. They didn’t just give us a car; they gave us hope and that’s kind of our idea behind Fix it Forward,” West said.

Fix it Forward is West’s new nonprofit. He repairs used cars donated by members of the community and then donates them to people in need.

“They give them to us, when they don’t want to fix them, or they just have an extra car they don’t want,” West said. “We don’t just give people cars, we also give them hope.”

After diagnosing each car, he turns to the community to help buy supplies.

“People have given money for parts or even some people have given us gas cards for people we give cars to,” West said.

West has already donated three cars and has two more he is working on.

To learn more or donate to Fix it Forward, visit Elite Auto Garage on Facebook or on their website.

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