By The Numbers
- 442 vehicles donated in the last 5 years
- 934 free car repairs in the last 8 years
- Over 50 employees (auto care)
- 4 Employees (ministry)
Fix It Forward Ministry
Limited access to transportation, especially in the Fargo Metro, is a huge barrier. Fix it Forward Auto Care and Fix it Forward Ministry have been working together to remove this barrier for as many people as possible.
What is Fix It Forward Ministry?
Fix It Forward Ministry, originally founded under the name Higher Power Automotive Ministries by high school friends and car enthusiasts Matthew Carlson and Jeremy Jensen in 2015, is a charitable organization dedicated to providing free auto repairs and car donations to members of the Fargo-Moorhead community in need. Many residents, particularly single parents, face challenges in getting to work, school, or appointments without a personal vehicle. By repairing vehicles for free and donating cars to those without one, Fix It Forward Ministry aims to remove transportation barriers and foster independence and self-sufficiency in the community.
“We were both working at Microsoft when Matthew came up to me while we were getting something to drink with the idea to fix cars for people in need— that’s kind of how it all started,” Jensen said. “We’re all created in God’s image and I think part of that image is helping others. Everyone is called to do something meaningful and we each have different and unique skill sets. This is how we can help.”
From there, Carlson and Jensen reached out to the YWCA and asked if any of their clients could use help with car repairs. They responded with “absolutely,” and let Jensen and Carlson know that the number one problem they were unable to solve for people was transportation. So that’s where they started. From there, it only took a year and a half before people were donating cars to them.
Today, Fix It Forward Ministry works exclusively with 40 different case-management organizations in the area to identify individuals truly in need. They do not accept walk-in customers; all services are scheduled and prioritized for those actively working with one of their partner organizations.
“We don’t restrict our services or who can participate based on any religion,” Jensen said. “However, Matthew and I have faith and that’s part of what we intended.”
What is Fix It Forward Auto Care?
Fix It Forward Auto Care, a for-profit repair shop founded by Matthew Carlson in 2018, was started in order to help Fix It Forward Ministry expand its services.
“As the momentum of the ministry began to grow, we began to run into some issues,” Carlson said. “Originally, [with the ministry] we were doing all of our work out of a shop on a farm and we quickly ran out of space. We had other logistical issues as well, including insurance—we were uninsurable as a nonprofit doing automotive work. So, the solution we came up with was to have a public-facing auto repair shop. This provided us with the shop space, equipment, and resources we needed to do the ministry the right way.”
This summer, Fix It Forward Auto Care opened their fourth location, setting up their most recent shop in Downtown Fargo. Further expansion is hopefully in the works as well.
“The more we can grow Fix It Forward Auto Care, the more we can grow the ministry, Carlson said. “We’re really looking forward to the opportunity to be able to push into other communities so we can help people. We don’t have any direct, immediate plans for getting there, but that’s definitely the direction we’re trying to go.”
“Recently, we’ve added two new team members to the ministry, which will really help grow the number of cars we can give away,” Carlson said. “Right now, we’re still unable to keep up.”
How to Get Involved
- Donate Cars – “Donors like you are what make this Ministry possible, thank you for your generosity. We are looking for cars that do not require any major engine or transmission repairs. We are available at either of our four Fix It Forward Auto Care shops located at 2620 2nd Ave N, Moorhead; 6219 53rd Ave S, Fargo; 102 N University Dr, Fargo; or 1224 13th Ave E, West Fargo between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. if you want to drop the car off or have us take a look. If you decide to donate your car, we will provide you with a tax receipt for your donation, and from you we will just need the car, keys, signed title and any lien release paperwork, if applicable. The process should take around 10-15 min and we will take care of everything else from there. If you are in need of assistance moving it, we can make arrangements, but it will take a little more time as we are entirely volunteer-run and will have to coordinate schedules. Some vehicles that are donated to us will be resold if they are not practical vehicles for our clients (ie, 2-seaters or convertibles) or have a high cost of ownership (some European vehicles), and the funds from the sale used to purchase parts to repair other vehicles.”
- Donate Money – “Generous contributions from our donors allow us to pay for the parts, tools and materials necessary for vehicle repairs. The average cost of repairs can be upwards of $550.”
- Volunteer – “Volunteers are an essential part of our ability to perform needed repairs on vehicles. All auto repair skill levels are welcome. Whether you are a professional Technician, a hobbyist, or a do-it-yourselfer, we welcome everyone who has an aptitude for basic repair and a willingness to learn. We also have opportunities for other volunteer interests such as administrative duties, paperwork, or other non-automotive tasks. Simply fill out the following form and one of our Program Coordinators will contact you to discuss your interests. Any volunteer under the age of 18 must have a parental release form signed by a parent or legal guardian.
Support Fix It Forward Auto Care
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