MATTOON — New Life Car Care regularly uses its tow truck to help provide automotive repairs and to obtain vehicles for people in financial need.
Many of the Mattoon nonprofit organization's clients are Medicaid and Medicare recipients, groups also served by the Molina Healthcare insurance company. Spokeswoman Tammy Lackland said that fact caught the attention of the MolinaCares Foundation as it considered New Life as a partner for investing in bettering community health and well-being.
"(New Life) was hands down going to be one of our recipients," Lackland said.
New Life Director Dan Craw said this organization, based in a home office and garage at 2709 Commercial Ave., recently received approximately $4,000 in grant funding from Molina to take care of needed repairs to its first tow truck, a 1997 diesel model that has accumulated more than 200,000 miles.
"There are several things on our truck that need attention. Since our budget is limited, it’s hard to come up with funds to take care of everything, so the grant will help us greatly," Craw said. He added that the grant will pay for installing new brakes for the tow truck, fixing an oil leak in the engine, getting a diagnostic check, and possibly upgrading the lights.
The nonprofit organization, which started in 2001, received this tow truck several years ago as a donation from S & S Service Co. in Mattoon. Up until then, Craw said he had been using a tow dolly every time he needed to pick up a car for repairs or for donation. He noted that this rollback tow truck has the capability to lift the entire vehicle onto its deck for transport.
Craw said New Life serves 150-200 clients per year for repairing vehicles, presenting donated vehicles, holding basic automobile care classes, checking out vehicles for prospective new owners, diagnosing mechanical problems, and more.
New Life's services are made possible by donations and fundraising. For example, Craw said they collected 145-150 bags of gently used shoes last fall for resale at 40 cents per pound.
In addition, Craw said New Life is slated to receive a $3,000 operations grant in October from the United Way of Coles County. He said this will enable the organization to "farm out" electronic issues and other complex repair projects to local auto shops.
"That is going to help us fix even more vehicles," Craw said.
More information is available by visiting the New Life Car Care NFP page on Facebook or calling (217) 273-3161.