SURPRISE, AZ — Mike Kuba and his son Matthew are getting their hands dirty to make sure struggling families keep more money in their pockets.
Inside “The Junkie Garage” in Surprise, the duo is spending their free time providing free labor. Fixing cars for folks just trying to make ends meet.
“It’s to keep people on the roads so they can keep going to work and keep taking their kids to school and keep going to the grocery store, and visit your family on a Saturday,” said Kuba.
Kuba, a project manager for a construction company started the nonprofit in 2016. Since then, he’s helped repair thousands of vehicles. From brakes and oil changes to air conditioning and rotors.
“I get tons of people just going this can’t be true, and then a lot of those same people when they come back and their A/C is now blowing cold, they get in their car and just start crying, the emotional response is overwhelming at times,” said Kuba.
Just weeks after a major medical scare, Laila Bonilla her car’s A/C went out. A local repair shop told her it would cost $1300 to fix.
“I didn’t have the money, there was no way I was gonna be able to come up with that money, again, I had missed ten weeks of work,” said Bonilla.
The mother of two said she prayed for an answer. It showed up when she came across The Junkie Garage Facebook Page.
“So, I messaged them, and they got back to me and said all you have to do is buy the parts,” said Bonilla.
A few days later she dropped off the car, and within hours it was good as new. Junkie Garage cut her repair bill by nearly 75%
“Personally, for me and my kids, it was life-changing,” said Bonilla.
Many will ask why he does it.
One, he knows money is tight and wants to help. The other is the sight of his son soaking up the knowledge and wisdom true giving provides.
“I’ve told him many times that you haven’t lived until you’ve done something for someone that can never repay you,” said Kuba.
If true, he’s certainly lived quite the life.
While the work he provides truly is free, it’s donations from the public or even small donations from customers that help the effort continue.
That’s not to say he hasn’t accepted other forms of donations.
“I’ve had people donate tools, fluids, we had one person buy us lunch and bring us a pizza,” said Kuba with a smile.
When the problem is too big for him to handle, he'll be ready to refer you to a mechanic with reasonable costs.
If you’d like to help keep his mission in the fast lane, click here.