Suburban auto shop lends helping hand to Venezuelan migrant bussed to Chicago


ELK GROVE VILLAGE, Ill. — A hard-working Venezuelan immigrant, afraid he’d lose his job when his car broke down, is breathing a sigh of relief after the good deed of an auto repair shop in Elk Grove Village, founded by a Polish refugee.

Adam Kaminski says he still remembers the lessons learned from his Polish immigrant father. 

“When you can help somebody, you help somebody. That’s what this country is about,” he told WGN News.

Joe Kaminski says he ventured to the United States for a better life and to seize a ‘tremendous opportunity like no place on Earth.’ The hard-working mechanic, together with his son Adam, built up J & Z Garage in Elk Grove Village with a deep appreciation for the struggles of immigrants. 

Joe Kaminski recalled the day he saw busloads of new immigrants arriving from Texas this past summer.  

“I’m passing by the hotel, I see a group of people – immigrants – unloaded from the bus and I stopped for a second and I saw myself,” he said.  

Earlier this week, a young Venezuelan husband and father, Xavier Linarez, walked up to J & Z Garage with an automotive dilemma. 

“My car is damaged,” Linarez explained. “The catalytic converter doesn’t work anymore.“  

Adam Kaminski also noticed his tie rod was dangerously loose, to the point where it was unsafe for Linarez to drive. The Honda van, donated to Linarez so he could drive to work, had hundreds of thousands of miles on it. The parts and all the labor were much more than the struggling Linarez could afford. So J & Z lent a hand to get it done. 

“May God always bless you,” a profoundly grateful Linarez said in response to the gesture. “And good health to you and your family. Thank you!” 

Added Joe Kaminski: “I hope they’re going to work hard because this country is the best .” 

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