By Michelle Colesanti

Christian Brothers Automotive slogan is “Nice Difference” and that is just what local owners Jud and Jenny Cook were trying to do when Christian Brothers participated in the Christian Brothers National Service Day in October.

Since 2010, Christian Brother’s Automotives around the country have participated in this event on the same day each fall. Fairly new to the community, this is the first year that the local Christian Brothers Automotive has had the privilege to take part in it.

They reached out to local churches and shelters to help identify single moms or widows who could benefit from its service. Fourteen families showed up to have their oil changed and other minor maintenance. Tires were also rotated as well the mechanics and volunteers helped to take care of other things deemed unsafe.

The Jesus Church, which meets weekly at The Regent in Riverview, helped to find people who were in need of the service. A key volunteer from the church, Barbara Kemp, also helped to organize 14 volunteers to help the technicians throughout the morning, and to help with vacuuming and washing windshields.

Jesus Church Pastor Karl House counseled and prayed with everyone who came in.

During the event, Kemp was touched by the impact that the gesture had on the participants. From a grandmother she heard, “I’ve been so busy taking care of my grandkids that my oil has been due for two months. This came at exactly the right time.”

Another lady was so appreciative and let Kemp know, “I’ve been struggling to make sure there is enough money to get to work and feed my family. You don’t know how much something like this helps.”

One widow found it comforting just to know that someone cared and another was surprised and thankful that one of the sponsors donated brake pads and fixed her brakes for free. Sponsors who helped make this day a success were SSI, Advance Auto, Auto Zone, NAPA, Meyer’s Tire Supply and BG Supply.

Jud said, “It was our honor to host the event that combined the generosity of local churches, our vendors and employees.” He said they plan to hold this event annually.

Christian Brothers Automotive does complete automotive repairs and is located at 10010 McMullen Rd. in Riverview. It is open Monday to Friday from 7 a.m.-6 p.m. and closed Saturdays and Sundays.  For more information, call 685-0683.

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Michelle Colesanti
Michelle has been with the Osprey Observer for almost nine years, and her current position is Assignment Editor. She resides in Bloomingdale with her husband Phil, two sons, Philip and Matthew, and Tigger the cat.