Twice each year, members of Community Christian Reformed Church in Frankford, Ontario, offer free oil changes to people in the neighborhood who can’t otherwise afford them.
Community CRC has at least two members who are licensed mechanics, willing to serve anyone who responds the church’s flyer advertising the oil changes. They not only change oil but top off windshield washer fluid and appraise each vehicle for other work that may need to be done.
Some participants say this is the only oil change their vehicle will have all year.
Neighbors who respond to the free offer often include the elderly and single parents.
While their vehicles are serviced, drivers are invited inside the church for coffee and snacks and to enjoy some social time.
The mechanics do not service new cars, but specifically target owners of older cars. All supplies are donated by members of the church, in addition to windshield washer fluid, which is provided by the deacons. Used oil is disposed of properly through local businesses.
Eric Vellekoop said his congregation has always been a community-minded church, and that it was natural for them to use their common interest in mechanics to serve their neighbors. He said that it is always fun to receive a thank-you card or the “odd hug” from grateful drivers.