Minor Mobley: A Marine, Business Owner, and Philanthropist Making a Difference in St. Charles
In a small town of St. Charles, Illinois, there is a man who wears many hats. Meet Minor Mobley, a U.S. Marine, successful business owner, loving husband, caring father, and a dedicated local philanthropist. Mobley is the founder of Big Hearts of Fox Valley, a charitable organization that has been making a significant impact on the lives of children in need in St. Charles and the surrounding areas of Kane County for the past decade.
Mobley is not just an ordinary auto mechanic; he is the proud owner of Excel Auto, a reputable auto repair shop located at 1207 Foundry St. in St. Charles. His passion for cars stems from his upbringing, as he grew up around cars and even had experience racing. With his extensive knowledge and skills, Mobley ensures top-notch service to his customers, sticking a pin in the stereotypical bubble of the car industry where friendliness is not always a priority.
But Mobley’s journey to success has not been without its share of challenges. He grew up in Indiana, where he started wrestling at the tender age of 6. His dedication and talent led him to earn a full-ride scholarship to wrestle in college during his high school years. However, a series of bad decisions during his senior year resulted in him losing his scholarship. Uncertain about his future, Mobley found himself at a crossroads.
In search of direction and purpose, Mobley visited a U.S. Marine Corps recruiting office. Within two weeks, he was on his way to basic training. Serving in the Marine Corps from 1995 to 2001, Mobley’s time in the service helped him turn his life around. Although he remains tight-lipped about his war stories, he believes that his experiences have shaped him into a better person. Mobley humbly acknowledges the highs and lows of his military journey, striving to lead a life that would make him worthy in the eyes of the Lord when the time comes.
After leaving the Marines, Mobley returned to Indiana but struggled to find stability in various jobs. In 2009, just before the birth of his daughter, he faced another setback as he lost his job. Unable to find work in Indiana, he made the decision to move to Illinois in search of new opportunities and a fresh start.
It was in 2014 that Mobley’s life took another turn. On the same day that Excel Auto opened its doors, Mobley, along with his wife Jennifer, founded Big Hearts of Fox Valley. This charitable organization, operating as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, aims to provide assistance to children within St. Charles School District 303 who face financial hardships, not only during the Christmas season but throughout the entire year.
The inception of Big Hearts was not a result of mere coincidence but rather a pivotal moment that left a lasting impact on Mobley’s heart. He vividly recalls a visit to a Toys R Us store, searching for a Thomas the Tank Engine toy his son desired. Witnessing a young boy holding the last toy on the shelf, only to be told by his mother that they couldn’t afford it, left Mobley deeply moved. The boy’s disappointment resonated with him, and he couldn’t shake off the feeling that countless families were facing similar situations.
Overwhelmed by a sense of urgency and a desire to make a difference, Mobley and his wife brainstormed ways they could give back to their community. With the goal of brightening the lives of children in low-income households, they initially established a Christmas gift sponsorship program. Community members volunteered to purchase gifts from wish lists submitted by families in need. The response from the St. Charles community was heartwarming and encouraging, as neighbors and volunteers came together to provide gifts for 80 children in District 303 during Big Hearts’ inaugural year.
What began as a simple mission soon grew into something much larger than Mobley and his wife ever anticipated. Big Hearts of Fox Valley became a beacon of hope for those in need. Its success relied heavily on the generosity and support of sponsors, volunteers, and donations. Year after year, countless individuals selflessly gave their time and resources to ensure that District 303 children experienced the joy of the holiday season.
With Jennifer at the helm of day-to-day operations, Big Hearts expanded its services and programs to meet the diverse needs of the community. In addition to the Christmas gift sponsorship program, co-founded by Excel Auto, they introduced toy and coat drives, as well as Big Hearts Throughout the Year. The organization’s impact extended beyond the holiday season, with numerous initiatives addressing the various needs of St. Charles children and families facing adversity.
One such initiative, Warm Coats & Warm Hearts, aims to provide new winter coats, hats, gloves, boots, and snow pants to children in need. Big Hearts leverages donations to purchase items during spring clearances, ensuring that children receive not only warmth but also a sense of pride while wearing their new coats.
The collaborative efforts between District 303 social workers, administrators, and Big Hearts have allowed for a comprehensive identification process, ensuring that children receive the support they require. Whether it’s basic necessities like clothing and toiletries or simply a helping hand during challenging times, the Mobleys and their team at Big Hearts have become a source of hope and positivity for the entire community.
The impact of Big Hearts of Fox Valley goes far beyond the tangible donations and services provided. It represents a community united in compassion, solidarity, and support for those in need. Through the tremendous efforts of sponsors and countless volunteers, Big Hearts has touched the lives of thousands of children and families throughout its existence.
Minor Mobley’s dedication and passion for his community have not gone unnoticed. St. Charles Mayor Lora Vitek commends the Mobleys for their commitment to making a difference. She praises Minor Mobley as a passionate Marine, a go-getter, and a highly motivated individual who always prioritizes others. Mayor Vitek admires their initiative and the tremendous impact Big Hearts has had on the community, especially during times when many individuals are facing hardships.
Today, as Big Hearts of Fox Valley approaches its 10th holiday season, one thing is certain: Minor Mobley’s unwavering commitment to his community continues to inspire others. Through his service, kindness, and selflessness, Mobley reminds us all of the transformative power of compassion and the difference one person can make in the lives of many.
As the seasons change and the years roll by, one thing remains constant—Minor Mobley’s unyielding dedication to serving others. Whether he’s working under the hood of a car, serving the community through Big Hearts, or striving to make a meaningful impact, Mobley’s legacy is one of generosity, resilience, and a heart full of compassion.