A car-washing operation in a rural Minnesota town that helped get a family home after being stranded in the frigid air for months helped save their lives, and now a local nonprofit is turning the car wash into a holiday tradition.
The car-wash operation, called Sweetwater Car Wash, is a two-person operation.
“We started out with one person and have gone to two,” said the founder and owner, Jessica McInnis, who is a mother of four.
Sweetwater Car Shops is a family-owned and operated business that operates out of her home in a tiny community in northern Minnesota.
Her family has been in the Twin Cities since they moved from the Midwest in the late 1980s.
They first went to the North Pole in 1985 to help people get home.
But the next year, after the cold snap, they realized they needed to make a point to get home, McInnes said.
That’s when they decided to go to Sweetwater.
“The car wash is a way to celebrate our family together,” she said.
The owners have been working with Sweetwater since 2009 to keep the operation going, and the business is one of only two in the country.
In recent years, Sweetwater has offered its customers the chance to have a personal car wash for a fee.
The family also used the car-shower as a car wash, which was a hit.
McInnis said they were getting calls from people who were interested in helping them out with a car- wash.
“They were so excited and so glad to help us out,” she explained.
The Sweetwater owners, who live in a small community of about 8,000 people, had to start over after they lost their home in the winter of 2016.
Because of the snow, they decided that they needed a carwash that could get them out of the cold.
There was just no money for a car.
For two years, they had been looking for a home to rent, and Sweetwater was a great fit.
So, they started the Sweetwater car- washing operation in 2014.
Now, McAsnis and her family are celebrating a holiday season with a one-time fee of $150 for a one month car wash.
After the one-month wash, they’ll get a new car and use it to wash for two months.
And, they plan to use the car for two weeks and give it away for free to anyone who wants to take it home.
McInnes, who said she and her husband are thrilled to be helping a stranger out with their car-related holiday effort, said she’s not sure how many people will be interested in participating.
“It’s an awesome story, but it’s a one time fee.
It’s only for one person,” she added.
It’s a way for us to give back to the community, and we hope to have other people take it,” she concluded.