Al's Gives Back - Camp Courageous July 2022

Community Involvement

As a small business in the Cedar Rapids community, Al’s Full Service Auto Repair knows how important it is to be involved with our community. We do this by supporting other local businesses and national organizations that help our community thrive. With that in mind, Al’s Full Service is giving back to our community in different ways while highlighting other businesses doing the same.

Going to camp was AWESOME!

Most of us can remember back to those long summers of our youth. The endless days, unlimited energy and SO MUCH FUN with friends. We hung out playing games, riding bikes, swimming, fishing, playing sports and for a lot of us this was done at a camp! These were the experiences of our lifetimes! Unfortunately, some individuals never got to experience those things due to special needs.  

In 1972 the need for a camp for individuals with special needs was recognized and that is where Camp Courageous was created

Camp Courageous was founded in 1972 when 40 acres of land was donated for the sole purpose of establishing a camp for individuals with special needs. In 1973, five buildings were built with donated labor and materials. The first campers attended during the summer of 1974. There were 211 campers who attended this first summer. Today, Camp Courageous consists of nearly 400 acres of land, 33 buildings and serves nearly 10,000 individuals with special needs on an annual basis. To read about the camps history visit the Camp Courageous history page.

Giving the experience of a lifetime!

In late March of 2022, we were trying to decide on the next recipient of our “Al’s Gives Back” program. With many of us at Al’s having such positive interactions with Camp Courageous in the past we decided that they would be the next recipient! But we wanted to do something a bit different this time. As always, I, Wade went to visit the recipient. It had been many years since I had visited the camp and was stunned at the growth of the facility! Even though it was raining and cold that day Sonya, the camps Operations/HR Director was gracious enough to give me a tour. Since my last visit a pond was created for water sports and fishing, a zip line was installed and even a working train! With all this growth I wondered how Al’s could possibly give enough to be able to make a difference. That is where talking with Sonya I learned amount the “Campership Fund”.

Camp Courageous has a Campership Fund for campers who would like to attend a camp session but need financial assistance to do so. Camp’s philosophy is no individual is turned away due to the inability to pay; thus, the Campership Fund was established.

Sonya and I talked about the cost for a camper to stay one week and in my mind, it was VERY reasonable for one weeks stay at such a FUN place! Leaving I was excited to get back to the shop and get to work on giving back to the campers of Camp Courageous! I set a goal to be able to fund 2 campers and if we were lucky, maybe 3! It was going to be a steep goal to accomplish but I knew our staff and our customers were up to the task!

On Fridays throughout April, May, and June the office staff of Al’s wore red “Camper Shirts”. The same shirts the camper’s wear! And as always, our customers were elated to be part of such a great cause as the “Campership Fund”.

Ending the giveback on June 30th brought on a sense of accomplishment for everyone here at Al’s. Thanks to their hard work, long hours, and our gracious customers we were able to fund not 2, not 3, but 4 CAMPERS! I would like to personally thank each, and every person involved in this round of “Al’s Gives Back”. Camp Courageous holds a very special place in my heart as it will for anyone who has ever known a camper, attended, or visited the camp. THANK YOU!

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