C.A.R.S. Ministry ®

Christian Automotive Repairmen Serving ® : Providing reliable transportation to those in need through refurbished, donated vehicles with the help of volunteer mechanics.

Select a Willow Creek Location

Christian Automotive Repairmen Serving: A Willow Creek Care Center ministry

The C.A.R.S. Ministry provides reliable transportation to those in need through refurbished, donated vehicles with the help of volunteer mechanics.

67 E. Algonquin Road
Building G
South Barrington, IL 60010
(847) 765-7200 cars@willowcreek.org

We operate solely on donations. C.A.R.S. can use any vehicle, boat, motorcycle, or RV, running or not, engine in or out, smashed up bumper, front-end collision—we will take it.

  • C.A.R.S. can tow your vehicle from its location
  • You will need to sign over the title to the vehicle
  • A receipt will be mailed for your tax deduction within 14 days of the donation

Support C.A.R.S. by donating a car—fill out the online donation form.

Support C.A.R.S. by buying a car on Ebay.

Get a reprint of your tax letter.

Learn how you can start a C.A.R.S. Ministry

Learn More about C.A.R.S.


Volunteer with the C.A.R.S. Ministry

Volunteers are an integral part of the C.A.R.S. ministry. Volunteers have a wide variety of mechanical experience; some would describe themselves as “shade-tree” mechanics while others are ASE certified mechanics. We welcome anyone with an aptitude and knowledge for automotive repair. Volunteers serve behind the scenes working on vehicles that are donated to the ministry which will then be given away to qualified recipients or sold to generate revenue for the ministry. Our volunteers also work on the vehicles of guests through the Care Center who qualify to have light duty repairs done on their vehicles. C.A.R.S. is more than just working on cars though, some volunteers also gather as a small group to do life together. Task night is an every other week commitment. If you are interested in serving with the C.A.R.S. Ministry sign up here. There is a brief orientation to attend that will overview the mission, vision, and values of the Care Center.

Sign Up for Volunteer Orientation


To drop off your vehicle:

The C.A.R.S. garage is located at the South Barrington campus, we are the very northwest part of the building (near the G Dock). Donations are accepted:

Monday–Thursday, 7:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. & 6:30–8:30 p.m.
Friday, 7:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Saturday, 8 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

To have C.A.R.S. pick up your vehicle:

C.A.R.S. owns and operates our own tow truck. We can arrange to have your vehicle towed from its location. Our pick up schedule is generally Monday through Friday; however towing can also be arranged for Saturday if needed.

When donating your vehicle please provide the following:

  • All keys, including truck, gas door, ignition
  • Title
  • Any accessories

Please remember to remove your I-PASS transponder, garage door opener, audio accessories/equipment, documents from the glove box, and licenses plates.

Support C.A.R.S. by donating a car.

Donate: Learn How Your Car Can Change a Life


Repair: Learn if You Qualify For Repairs


Receive: Learn if You Qualify For a Car


C.A.R.S. donation FAQs

Thank you for considering a donation to the C.A.R.S. Ministry. Your donation helps to provide reliable transportation to those in need who qualify within our community. We accept running and non-running cars, trucks, SUV’s, campers, trailers, just about anything, including financial contributions.

How will C.A.R.S. maximize my donation?

The C.A.R.S. Ministry is a self-supporting ministry of Willow Creek Community Church—we do not use money from the church budget to operate. We rely solely on the generosity of donors for ministry operations. We work hard to maximize the value of each donated vehicle, enabling us to make more benevolent repairs and to give away more vehicles. We do this by utilizing optimal sales channels, such as public auto auctions, eBay online auctions, and dealer consignment. The C.A.R.S Ministry develops good relationships with salvage yards to yield higher-than-average values for vehicles that cannot be repaired. In addition, because all repair labor is done by volunteers, the full proceeds from the sale of any vehicle go back into the ministry, helping those we serve.

Your donation is utilized in one of the following ways:


As much as we would like every car we take in to be given away, it’s not possible. The ideal vehicles that we would like to giveaway are 4-door, 4-cylinder, inexpensive on gas, repairs, and insurance. We foresee these vehicles lasting the qualified recipient at least two years. If and when properly maintained , we’ve known them lasting much longer. The vehicles that are given away are inspected and repaired, then test driven before the new owner takes possession.


We have established relationships to help generate revenue for the ministry and thus recycle resources back to C.A.R.S. to help pay for the parts in other giveaway cars. We do this through a retail nationwide auction such as eBay motors: through a public auction in the Chicagoland area: through the consignment to local dealers who will sell vehicles on our behalf; and finally, if the vehicle is in a condition beyond repair we may need to sell it to a local salvage yard. Our relationship with local salvage yards enables us to yield higher-than-average values.

How much is my donated car worth?

Once C.A.R.S. receives your donation, within 14 days we will notify you the way in which we intend to use your donation. If we determine that your vehicle will be used to further the ministry purposes, thus by giving your vehicle to a qualified individual or by using ministry funds to repair your vehicle, you are then allowed to take the fair market value for your vehicle as described in many car value guides (i.e. Kelley Blue Book or NADA Guides). If we decide it’s not financially feasible to repair your vehicle and we dispose of it in the condition it was donated, you would be allowed to claim the amount we receive for the car. Within 30 days of its sale, we will notify you of the amount we received for it and the way in which it was utilized. Willow Creek Community Church is responsible for filing IRS form 1098-C on your behalf. We must have your Social Security number in order to file this form with the IRS.

Christian Automotive Repairmen Serving ®