Huge fire destroys livelihoods before the holidays

My name is Rashaun Hawkins, owner of Terry Kustom's mechanic and body shop. A week ago, my employees and I experienced a devastating loss. An employee fixing on a customer's vehicle sparked a small flame. 

https://www.wndu.com/2020/12/04/commercial-fire-on-sample-street-police-say-avoid-area/

We tried our best to stop the fire from escalating, but the flames grew and quickly spread throughout the building. During the fire, we removed a few customer vehicles but not all, including personal vehicles. There were five employees present when the fire occurred. We all managed to evacuate safely without serious injuries. Thankfully, the fire department was called and was able to put out the fire. However, the fire destroyed everything inside the building.  Everyone suffered a loss. Customers' vehicles were burned and keys to cars melted. Tools were burned or severely damaged, equipment, heavy-duty heaters, vending machines, security system, personal vehicles, personal belongings, furniture,  car paint and auto parts, and other miscellaneous items needed to run the shop. 

Due to the building being old, insurance companies declined to insure our establishment. We were also renting from an individual who didn't have insurance coverage either. We are all hard-working fathers at Terry's Kustom's. We are a mechanic and body shop, and the fire completely destroyed our livelihood. I have a diverse group of great employees. Although we come from different backgrounds, we serve the same community. We are essential to this community and have been serving this community for over a decade. 

During the summer, we employ youths to mentor and gain experience as well as to earn money. When people within the community are looking for work, we provide jobs when available. The holidays are near, and we all have families with many mouths to feed. Multiple employees also have newborns at home. Due to covid, we all have been experiencing challenging times. The fire destroying our workplace added to our already stressful lives. We are looking to get back to work quickly, preferably before the new year. All our customers need their vehicles, we need to secure a building, tools and equipment must be replaced. Whatever assistance we can receive to help put us back to work to support our families during this tragedy. The estimated costs are well over $85,000. Still, we are looking to acquire a new shop and get back to work right before Christmas. $85,000  will help us to immediately get back to work and replace essential materials damaged by the fire.

Donations

 See top
  • Alexander Fajardo 
    • $25 
    • 25 d
  • Teniqua Pope 
    • $49 
    • 25 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $10 
    • 25 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $10 
    • 25 d
  • Spencer Hatcher 
    • $10 
    • 25 d
See all

Organizer

Rashuan Hawkins 
Organizer
South Bend, IN
  • #1 fundraising platform

    More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more

  • GoFundMe Guarantee

    In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more

  • Expert advice, 24/7

    Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more