Church of the City (COTC) in Tennessee gave away 10 cars to single mothers and young adults aging out of foster care on Tuesday (Jan. 23), something that is part of an ongoing ministry at the church.
COTC is a multisite congregation with locations in and around Nashville. Darren Whitehead, founding pastor of the church, told the Williamson Herald that the COTC’s CARS ministry is the realization of a dream to make an impact in the community among those who need it most.
“Several years ago, we had this dream that when someone was looking to buy a new car, instead of trading [their old car] in at a dealership, they would give the car to the church,” Whitehead said. “We would give them a tax receipt for it, we would make sure the car was in good operating condition, then we would give it away to a single mom, a kid aging out of foster care or a family.”
And so the church began doing just that.
“Right here in our community, people are struggling every day to keep their lives in balance. A car serves to get you to work, to the grocery store, to the doctor’s office and generally keeps your family moving forward,” COTC’s website reads. “For one-car families struggling to make ends meet, the loss of a car can be devastating.”
“The Church of the City CARS ministry was created to provide these struggling families with reliable transportation that can make the difference in achieving financial stability and safety for their families,” the site goes on to say.
COTC says that the purpose of the CARS ministry is to help people get “a leg up.”
Each donated car is repaired, test driven, and inspected before it is given away. Cars that are inoperable or not fit to be given away are sold, and the proceeds are used to support the ministry.
Since COTC began the CARS ministry, it has received over 400 cars. However, recently the requests for cars have outpaced donations. So the church’s leadership decided to purchase 17 cars to make up the difference—for a total cost of about $200,000.