Car care for those in need

Local News

MATTOON, Ill (WCIA) — A Coles County man is working to make sure those in his community have a means of transportation.

Dan Craw’s charity is called New Life Car Care and it has helped hundreds of people get or stay on the road. For 18 years, Craw has been fixing people’s cars and even giving some away, all for free.

He says he does it because he’s been blessed with the know how. 

“God’s blessed me quite a bit. He’s really taken care of me over the years and I just want to give back to people myself,” Dan Craw says.

A love for working on cars turned into a love for helping others. Craw has spent almost 20 years with his head under the hood of other people’s cars.

He started his charity, originally to help single mothers with car problems, but over the years it’s turned into much more. Now he’s helping almost anyone who reaches out. 

“And I needed help to figure out what was wrong with the car,” Mike Allen says. “If it wasn’t for Dan, we wouldn’t have transportation for my wife or my son to get to doctor’s.”

Oftentimes he’s working on cars for people he doesn’t know.

“A total stranger just stepped in and helped in the time of need,” Allen says.

But sometimes, it’s been friends he’s known for years. 

“I couldn’t go back to work because I didn’t have a vehicle that was running. Dan helped us get the parts, find out what was wrong and fix it and get me back on the road,” Melody Hovious says.

Over the years, the number of people he’s helped can’t be counted.

“It’s hard to say since we’ve been doing this for 18 years. Now we help anywhere from 150 to 200 people a year,” Craw explains.

The services he’s offered have changed with time also. He’s started giving away vehicles to those in need, and that giving spirit has spread. 

“I was actually touched enough by what he does that, when I got a new vehicle I donated mine,” Hovious says.

More than just making the day-to-day easier, he’s permanently changed lives. 

“If it hadn’t been for him, we really wouldn’t be where we are today. He really did change things for us,” Hovious explains.

Craw never wants to stop.

“Hopefully, I’ll retire in four years and do this full time,” Craw says.

New Life Car Care also does car maintenance classes. Craw thinks everyone should have basic knowledge of what’s under the hood of their cars.

The giving doesn’t stop with cars. The charity is collecting used shoes to be given to those in other countries. 

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