Christy Laird and her daughter, Kayla Williams, are the co-founders of the new non-profit organization called “Automobile Service Assistance,” or ASA for short.
“We just kept talking about how there is a resource that’s needed here in South Carolina to assist with car maintenance, especially because the price of automotive repair maintenance has gone up almost 23% just in the past 2 to 3 years,” said Williams.
The program aims to pay for a portion of expenses associated with automobile repairs that occur from a breakdown, or even general maintenance costs like oil changes (Williams says transmission and engine replacements are not covered at all).
“A car is your means to education, to healthcare, to childcare, to employment, and even to participate within the local economy to boost it, and so a car is not just a car. And I love that our nonprofit brings that to light to show that transportation really does affect all aspects of a life — especially a family’s life,” says Williams.
According to Laird and Williams, the nonprofit’s online application process determines how much of the bill they can help cover — which for some may be as much as 97% of the repair or maintenance costs.
Laird is also the Shop Service Manager at Team 1 Suddeth Automotive on Millwood Avenue. She says the ASA will help approved applicants work with preferred garages or a garage of their choice.
“My biggest thing is I like seeing the smiles on people’s faces. It’s almost like a weight comes off their shoulders when things like this happen. It’s like ‘Okay, I don’t have to worry about this any more. I can just worry about all the other 100 things I have to worry about, but this — I don’t have to worry about anymore.’ And that makes me feel good that we were able to help with that part of taking that off of someone. And ease that. At least that part,” says Laird.
As the non-profit revs up, Williams and Laird say they hope to help about five people a month, with a goal of 25 people a month in a year’s time.
“To see that makes a difference in the community is gonna be awesome,” said Laird.