Lift Garage lends a hand in the lot

John Buttner works on a car at Lift Garage, a nonprofit auto repair shop in Windom.

Lift Garage, a nonprofit auto repair shop, keeps a stock of bulbs on hand. Auto mechanics change the bulbs free of charge for their low-income customer base.

“It feels like one small thing we can do to help keep drivers safe and prevent potential future problems for folks,” said Cathy Heying, executive and operations director.

She started the free service last summer after Philando Castile was fatally shot during a routine traffic stop in Falcon Heights.  She said she hopes the gesture can help drivers avoid tickets and complications that result from being pulled over.

“It’s one small thing we have the capacity to do,” she said. “Our whole mission is affordable, accessible car repair.”

Demand is high for the affordable auto care, and wait times for an appointment are typically 10 weeks. But staff can quickly handle bulb changes in the parking lot, provided there is no major electrical problem.

Lift Garage continues to fundraise through its website to meet high demand. The nonprofit recently celebrated its fourth anniversary, growing from a single bay operating one day per week to four bays operating five days per week. The nonprofit provides classes in car care, pre-purchase inspections and a mobile van that offers diagnostic service.


The Lift Garage is located at 5925 Nicollet Ave. behind Dan’s Nicollet Car Wash.