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An Albemarle auto mechanic is giving back during the holidays by building toys for Christmas.

An Albemarle auto mechanic gives back during the holidays by building toys for Christmas

Released at 3:57 pm on Friday, December 9, 2022

Every year in early December, Doug Arey, owner of Doug’s Garage in Albemarle, is busy with requests from locals for a very specific kind of help, usually unrelated to auto repair. For example, one woman recently called him saying she needed help putting two bikes together.

It’s this time of year when his auto repair shop at 545 Snugs Street turns into a workshop, and you’re encouraged to bring in toys for Ally and his employees to assemble before picking them up in time for Christmas. The service is free, but accepts donations and donates to those in need in the community.

Ally started working at another Doug-named business in 1999 and became the owner in 2006. He presumes he opened the so-called “Santa’s Workshop” a few years later.

“The idea popped into my head that I wanted to help people, and that’s what I want to do,” he said. “I enjoy making things harder. I just do. I always have.”

Over the years he has built personal, mostly personal, bikes of all kinds, Hot Wheels model cars and trucks, dollhouses (including three-story ones), basketball goals, and even large toys. , has assembled numerous items for non-mechanical parents. A metal swing set.At the peak of his work in the mid-2000s, Arey estimated he assembled as many as 50 toys a year.

“We’re basically the elves who put all the items together,” said Landon, Aley’s son.

Ally and Landon, Ally’s daughter Ashley Smith, and his many Elves, including Ally’s daughter Ashley Smith, and his sons Henry and Titus, plan to spend all day building the toys they’ve collected on December 23rd when the shop closes. Scott Vanderberg, the youth pastor of Albemarle’s Baptist Church of Charity, said he wants to reach out to the young people in his church for help.

“I hope you have a busy day that Friday,” said Allie, noting that even if she received 200 toys, they would be put together. “I hope we are busy from sunrise to sunset.”

Ally’s workshop is so successful in the county that children who once received toys he built are now parents who come to him to help build toys for their own children. It is a fixed object of

“It’s like a doctor,” he said of his service. “You go from generation to generation.”

He appreciates that the workshop is very much in line with the values ​​with which he has run his auto repair business for many years: integrity, honesty and caring.

In addition to helping those in need, the surgery had a huge impact on Ally’s family, especially his children. They’re proud that fathers play such an important role in so many families during the holiday season.

“There are so many levels of ways to congratulate someone without really knowing that you are blessed,” Smith said.

For more information on workshops, please call 704-982-3684. Toys can be dropped off at the shop Monday through Thursday from 8am to 5pm and Friday from 8am to 2:30pm.

All assembled toys must be received by noon on December 24th.

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with SNAP since January 2019. He graduated from North Carolina State University and holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, and many of his articles on immigration and culture were published in national newspapers through his Associated Press.

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