It is said that is in giving that we receive. Amanda Gilbert, owner of Christian Brothers Automotive in Sharpsburg, should know that well from experience. Every year, Amanda, along with the help of her team, has orchestrated a meaningful event for single parents during Christian Brothers Automotive National Service Day.
While many of the franchises give back through oil changes for single parents, Amanda, along with other locations, take this special day to the next level. When single parents brought their cars for their complimentary oil change this past Saturday at Amanda’s event, they were greeted with hot coffee and donuts. They visited different tents where the Real Life Center, The Eden Project, Trinity Church, and PTC First Baptist Church had flowers and gifts for the parents and their children to remind them they are cared about.
While waiting for their oil change to be done, these hard-working parents got to sit and enjoy live music and delicious hamburgers right off the grill. The highlight of Amanda’s efforts each year during National Service Day is when a car is given away to a single parent. This year, Katherine Holloway, mother of three children under the age of twelve received that gift.
Katherine, the grateful recipient of the used Nissan Altima generously donated by Rapid Auto Sales, LLC, shared about this blessing and how it came about from her perspective.
“I contacted the Real Life Center for some help and spoke with Ms. Shannon who was absolutely amazing,” Katherine said. “I shared with her what I was going through. She asked if I could use a free oil change through this event and I shared with her that I did not have a vehicle.”
The Real Life Center is a local nonprofit that offers real help and real hope, serving the community through their drive-thru Food Pantry as well as helping residents of Coweta and Fayette counties with financial assistance for rent and utility bills.
Not knowing what Christian Brothers Automotive was already planning, Katharine says, “It was all perfect timing…..I had been praying. This all worked out better than I ever imagined and I am so thankful! God knows what He is doing and when He is doing it. It couldn’t have been any better.”
Debbie Jones, Katherine’s mother was with her for the presentation of the car.
When sharing about Katherine’s journey through recent challenges, Debbie shares, “I told her it’s not going to be easy but we will get through this together, just keep praying. One day she calls me and tells me how all these doors have opened and what the community is doing for her and I was blown away. She has been through a lot, I don’t even know the words to say how grateful I am that God put all this together for her.”
Debbie was a single mom herself for many years and knows firsthand how every bit of help makes a difference. She goes on to express, “A car is ginormous to Katharine’s situation but so teeny-tiny to what God can do. As her mother, I am so thankful. I think this event is just awesome.”
During the National Service Day, Amanda Gilbert acknowledged the role of her team in making the day possible.
“With team effort, we come together and provide a vehicle for a single mother who is really in need. We search for vehicles that are inexpensive, ask vendors for assistance in getting the parts, and use some of the donations received from our customers, local businesses and our franchisor,” Amanda said. “We are fortunate to have technicians that are willing to volunteer and give their time to make sure the vehicle is ready to go.”
Amanda has owned and operated multiple businesses in her life. After an experience purchasing a business that ended up being fraud, she was so down on humanity and felt that she could never trust another human again. She describes how different it is with Christian Brothers Automotive.
“I visited Christian Brothers’ home office for a three-day discovery and found that they truly walk the talk. They truly love their neighbors as themselves and are focused on holding people accountable for what they say and do. Our goal is to be transparent with every individual so they can trust us when we say that they need something, we want them to trust us. That was something I was lacking in my life overall and Christian Brothers gave that back to me.”
Amanda Gilbert concluded this special National Service Day by sharing what so many others were feeling, “For me, the National Service Day is always my highlight every year. The community involvement, bringing together the churches, the businesses, the nonprofits…it’s amazing how we all work and volunteer, yet walk away the ones so blessed by the event.”