BALTIMORE (AP) — Vehicles for Change, a pioneering Maryland nonprofit, has received foundation grants and corporate sponsorships, but no gift ever looked quite like this: a fully functioning auto repair business.
Jerry Greeff’s unusual donation of his One Stop Auto Repair garage came with a request to keep alive the $2.5 million-a-year business that he has operated in Waverly with his wife, Pam, since 1991.
At 64, Greeff said his wife encouraged him to leave behind his taxing 12-hour days at the shop and concentrate instead on the family’s commercial real estate interests.
“My wife said it was either her or the business,” Greeff said.
The shop — on the site of the old Talbott Motors Co. that later became a Ford dealership on Greenmount Avenue — was transferred right after Christmas to the nonprofit, which fixes donated cars and awards them to low-income families at minimal cost.
All that was missing was a giant red bow.
Martin Schwartz, the organization’s president, said he was happy to oblige Greeff’s request. Not only will the 18-year-old nonprofit keep the shop — with its familiar red-brick storefront and 17 lifts — open, it will use the property as an extension of its re-entry program in Halethorpe, in which dozens of ex-prisoners are trained to become auto mechanics.