For Pastor Walter Rogers, helping to organize the semi-annual free oil change by the Acts Of Kindness (AOK) charity for single mothers at Langley’s Church in the Valley is something very personal.
“I was raised by a single mom, so I remember how much it meant when the community helped support us,” Rogers told the Langley Advance Times on Sunday, June 27, as volunteers worked on cars and trucks in the Acts of Kindness garage at the church on 23589 Old Yale Rd.
When his parents split up, Rogers said he and his brother were raised by their mother, who “had nothing” when her marriage ended.
He recalls how people stepped up to help.
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“I remember being so excited to get the Christmas baskets with all the goodies at Christmas time from our church family,” Rogers related.
“I also remember our cars were pretty poorly maintained, pretty crummy, you know? I remember struggling with that. We had some kind family friends and church members who maintained our vehicles. It made an impression on me growing up.”
Now Children’s Ministries Pastor at the Langley church, Rogers sees the free oil change program “as a way of trying to pay that forward.”
“We’re really hoping the moms will feel that we love them, that we appreciate them, [and] we know how hard it is, what they’re doing. And also that their kids, future leaders in the community as well, will remember this kindness and pay it forward as they grow up.”
READ ALSO: Single Moms Oil Change to be held for first time in more than one year
Rogers estimates the program has carried out about 750 oil changes over 15 years.
Usually, the Single Moms Oil Change is held twice each year for single parents who have children living at home, but the pandemic interfered.
Sunday’s event, from noon to 4 p.m. at was the first oil change event in more than a year, with 40 vehicles signed up for the service, lower than the usual 60.
A sprinkler positioned outside the garage provided a cool breeze while volunteers worked on trucks and cars, and child care was available inside the air-conditioned church.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, there was no car wash and detailing, usually part of the event.
AOK describes itself as a charitable initiative based in Langley “which aims to build community and cultivate better lives for residents of the Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland.”
“Since 1996, in collaboration with other local agencies, and through the generosity of major donors, Acts of Kindness has supplied food, education, shelter, support, and compassion to thousands of individuals in Aldergrove, Langley, and beyond.”
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