Aardvark Automotive has been giving away cars to families in need since 2011 through Wheels to Prosper, said Linda Archer. Archer and her husband Robert Archer, owners of Aardvark Automotive 5825 Canyon Drive, have given away so many cars that she has lost count.
Several years ago, friends who owned body shops under the same management company as the Archer’s business were giving away cars for the same reason, and that’s how the Archers got their idea for with their community project. They decided that Amarillo needed to help people without cars get to work, doctor’s appointments, buy groceries and get their kids to school.
Archer said that they collect as many nomination letters as possible from or about families who have fallen on hard times. A committee picks out the top three letters and then narrows the list down to one nominee based on level of need and by determining how many people will be affected.
Cars to be given away are donated to Aardvark Automotive and the business then makes the minor or moderate repairs to turn them into reliable cars. Many cars have been donated over the years - except this year, Archer said.
She said those who receive the car get a helping hand up - not a hand out.
One mother of a small child living in the country had no car and had health problems that necessitated frequent doctor’s visits. When the Archers found out, this mother became the recipient of one of the Wheels to Prosper cars.
Another recipient was a divorced mother of two daughters who was trying to make it around town in a loaned car that was unreliable. She and her daughters never knew if they would make it to work, school or activities without the car breaking down.
Archer said receiving a nomination about a family in need is one thing, but when she meets them and hears their stories, it breaks her heart.
For those interested in donating cars or nominating a family in need for the Wheels to Prosper, contact Robert and Linda Archer at 806-242-1073 or go by Aardvark Automotive at 5825 Canyon Drive.