Faith & Pistons puts to work their Faith through mentoring young men & giving away restored cars.
By James Holbert
Faith & Pistons gives away the vehicles they restore. Right now, they donate an average of two a year, though it varies year to year. They officially donated a Ford Taurus (Facebook Video below) to a very special woman. As you can imagine, she was very, very excited and emotional. They were thrilled to be able to help her.
Elizabeth sees her new car for the first time, and gets the keys!
Posted by Faith and Pistons on Wednesday, February 7, 2018
“Imagine you’re building this racecar for race day. You pour your heart and soul into this thing. You build it from the ground up and you’ve sweat and worked your hardest and now there it is: perfect. You bring it out on race day and you’re all set to go when suddenly someone comes down from the stands. They take out a sharpie and write any combination of horrible things on the gleaming hood of your race car. LOSER, UGLY, FATSO whatever. Are you mad? Sure. But you have to know, too: God owns the sharpies and he’s the creator of you the same way you are creating a place for yourself in that race.”
Said Bob Cogan, founder of Faith & Pistons.
Bob makes frequent use of his Sharpie Analogy to the students enrolled in the program. It started four years ago and now operates out of a garage in West Bridgewater. He intuited the program as a way to disperse the spiritual practical lessons contained the Bible. Alongside, the program teaches automobile maintenance to young men from ages 14-19. At the time Bob founded Faith & Pistons, all he needed to start was the money—$1000 or $1500.
“Then followed two days of praying,” Bob said. It was answered quickly, in the form of a boat deal that left Bob with the necessary capital: $1500. Bob was thankful for the stamp of approval.
“My next thought was that I should have asked for more money,” Bob joked.
He’s been operating Faith & Pistons ever since. That would be every Wednesday for at least four hours a week for the past four years. At any given time there are typically 6-8 kids enrolled, and their stay can range from six months to years, all depending on age. Now, Bob rents a sizeable garage in West Bridgewater where the “Pistons” part of the program takes place.
But Bob does not think of himself as a mechanic—the program is a part-time venture, generously funded by individuals who donate their workable vehicles to the cause.
“The secondary focus is on the cars, all the useful stuff it helps to know when owning a car,” Bob explained. “But the primary focus is on the kids and the ‘Faith’ portion. We want to help instill a sense of self in the guys. We want them to know how peace and joy are not based on earthly situations.”
That’s what the program is about: helping young men to create a healthy self-image. Faith assists in that.
“Our mentors need to be able to fall back on something bigger than oneself,” Bob said. The Bible has tools and lessons and stories, all the backbone to uplifting the self and self-image. He likes to make use of the instance in which Paul and Silas are ultimately jailed for espousing the word of God.
“They could have blamed God and denounced Him, but you see that they didn’t. They remained true of themselves and of God. That’s what we’re aiming to teach.”
For the most part, these lessons come about organically, alongside the car repair. “We meet, we break bread Wednesday. Pizza, the grill whatever. There’s a short lesson, and then there’s conversation. Sometimes the guys bring up their own issues.”
It’s a comfortable environment, but it also proves to be a supportive and fruitful one.
“Oftentimes we see one guy give another guy advice,” Bob said. “And let me tell you, that is a huge blessing to witness.”
Bob wants Faith & Pistons to continue to grow. One long term goal: to facilitate funding for grants and scholarships for the students. Also, while there are multiple in-house mentors, the program would benefit from a female mentor for potential female applicants in particular. More mentors means more students. Anyone who is interested in mentoring, male or female, can private message Bob Cogan on Facebook.
Contact Bob on Facebook for enrollment inquiries. Spring and fall sessions begin March 20 and September 20 respectively. Also, if you’d like to donate a car, parts, or tools—any vehicle in any condition—you should also message him on Facebook as well.
If you’d like to be a part of great opportunities to help people in the future, please think of Faith and Pistons if you have a vehicle, cash, tools, time or talents to donate! We’d love to hear from you. You can learn more about us on our website at www.faithandpistons.org. We are all strictly volunteers and every penny donated goes directly to our programs.