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The Cars 4 Causes Blog.

Jun 22 2015

Ukraine Orphans More Vulnerable Than Ever

Category: Cars 4 Causes,Cars 4 Causes news,Charity News,GeneralJackie Mack @ 2:24 pm

The Crimean Peninsula is a beautiful region on the Black Sea that is connected to mainland Ukraine by two narrow natural land bridges.  On March, 2014 Russia annexed Crimea and since then life for Tartars in Crimea is no longer safe.  The Tartars endure kidnapping, disappearance, and persecution by authorities and 10,000 Tatars have been forced to leave their homeland.  Just 71 years ago, in May 1944, Soviet Leader Joseph Stalin ordered that 238,500 Tatars be forcibly deported from Crimea.  Nearly 110,000 or 46% of the deportees, died of starvation and disease.  Once again the people of Crimea find themselves faced with repression and political persecution similar to what they experienced 71 years ago.

Car Donation Can Help Orphans in the Ukrain

Car Donation Can Help Orphans in the Ukrain

“There are 810,000 children in the Ukraine who have lost one or both parents…Approximately 30,000 of those children live in 350 orphanages in the southeastern region of the Ukraine, which includes Crimea… Orphans are the most vulnerable beings on earth in almost any situation, and that danger is amplified greatly in times of crises… children living amidst chaos fall prey to …disease, starvation and human trafficking.”[1]  To date Russian authorities have refused to release the 4,350 orphans living in Crimea preventing these children from being adopted.  The other state run orphanages in the Ukraine are home to over 100,000 orphans and these children are facing a epidemic food crisis.

The current conflict started in 2013 when the Ukraine refused to enter into agreements with the Russian-led Eurasian Customs Union.  What began as peaceful protests in Kiev quickly turned violent.  It is noteworthy that back in 1991 “When Ukraine became independent it inherited a nuclear arsenal from the Soviet Union, which made it the 4th largest nuclear power in the world.  After much persuasion from western countries, in 1994 Ukraine gave up these weapons, and they were removed from the country.  In return Ukraine was reassured by the leaders of the United States, Russia and the United Kingdom of its security, sovereignty, and the inviolability of its borders.” [2]

The annexation of Crimea by Russia is a violation of the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances of 1944 wherein Russia promised to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and status as an independent nation.   However, Russia is willing to defy the international community on the premise that Crimea should have a “right of return” to Russia when ultimately Russia wishes to readdress the dissolution of the Soviet Union and re-litigate borders.  Meanwhile, the Ukraine desires to be free and clear of the former Soviet Union.

Russia cannot afford to lose the sea port in Crimea.  The remainder of the Black Sea coastline is under the control of NATO allies, with the exception of Georgia, which is currently campaigning for NATO membership.  Without this naval base in Crimea, Russian will struggle to exert influence in ongoing international disputes.  Additionally, natural gas also plays a prominent role in this conflict.  Ukraine depends heavily on Russia for its energy needs. Now that Russia has seized control of Crimea it will likely shut off natural gas exports to Ukraine, like it has done in the past, in order to further its political interests.

Recently, the news has been filled with images of shells hitting homes and apartment buildings in ruin.  Despite a ceasefire, the situation between Ukraine and Russian has spiraled out of control.  To date nearly 6,500 have died in the conflict, including civilians.  Despite the harm done and innocent lives taken back in 1944, Stalin leadership is showing its face again.

Are we to sit by and watch as this humanitarian crisis grows into multiple human rights violations?

We are doing our part to help the orphans of the Ukraine during this crisis.  You can too!  Donate a vehicle to support TeamGypsyKids.org.  They are a group of men and women whose hearts go out to the precious gypsy children in Ukraine and they help feed and provide basic care for children ranging in age from 5 month to 18 years.  Think how many meals your car donation will provide for these vulnerable children.  It only takes $1.00 per day to feed a child.  If you would like to help you can donate a vehicle, boat, motorcycle, RV or Trailer at www.cars4causes.net or contact Team Gypsy Kids at www.teamgypsykids.org.


[2] The Conflict in Ukraine:  A Historical Perspective Post by Lauren McLaughlin http://www.summer.harvard.edu/blog-news-events/conflict-ukraine-historical-perspective

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Apr 16 2015

How to Beat the “Devil” Wind – 7 Tips for Safe Driving

Category: Cars 4 Causes,GeneralJackie Mack @ 12:00 pm

Those darn Devil Winds are whipping today!  I can feel it in my bones….making my hair stand on end!  The static energy these winds bring seems to affect me at a core level.  Do you feel it too?

Yesterday was so nice and TODAY….. Well, it got me wondering where do these wild winds come from?  Here is what Wikipedia had to say:  Santa Ana Winds aka “Devil Winds” are strong, dry winds that originate inland and affect coastal Southern California and Northern Baja California.  Devil Winds form when the surface air in elevated regions of the Great Basin and Mojave Desert (the “high desert”) become cold and blow toward the coast.  As the air channels down through the valleys, canyons and major mountain passes; the speed accelerates, at times exceeding 40 miles per hour, becoming dry and warm as it compresses.  These hot dry winds can add “fuel to the fire” when it comes to brush or forest fires, especially under drought conditions.  [1]

7 Tips for Safe Driving in Windy Conditions

7 Tips for Safe Driving in Windy Conditions

If you are anything like me you probably spend a good portion of your day driving to and from work, running errands and shuttling the kids around.  Did you know that the wind can pose some real dangers on the road?  Here are 7 helpful hints for safe driving in windy conditions:

  • Plan ahead.  Leave extra time to reach your destination and be sure to buckle up for safety.
  • Slow your speed to a safe driving speed and turn on headlights if needed; visibility may become impaired by blowing dust, sand or debris.
  • Keep your hands on the wheel.  Be sure to hold the wheel firmly as strong winds tend to gust and can blow your vehicle around or when driving from wind-protected areas to unprotected areas.
  • Maintain a safe distance from other vehicles, particularly RVs, campers, trucks, buses, or trailers being towed.  These vehicles could swing out and hit your car in a sudden wind gust.
  • Take extra car in a high-profile vehicle such as a truck, van, SUV, or when towing a trailer, as these are more prone to being pushed of flipped by high winds.
  • Listen to the radio for changes in weather conditions that could create more dangerous driving.
  • Avoid parking near trees, buildings and downed power lines.  Never drive over or touch downed power lines they may still be alive and very dangerous.

During Santa Ana conditions you can almost certainly bet that it is hotter along the coast than it is in the desert.   TODAY is a hot one….the surfers around here are lovin’ it because the winds make the waves nearly perfect.  Take it slow today, drive safe and be kind in all you do.

We are wishing each and every one of you a safe and positive day!


[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Ana_winds

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Mar 18 2015

Tax Deduction & Car Donation – 3 Things To Consider

Category: Car Donation FAQ's,Cars 4 Causes news,Charity News,GeneralJackie Mack @ 10:41 am

Donations to charity are tax deductible and can reduce your taxable income.  If you donated a vehicle to charity you may want to review the IRS Publication “A Donor’s Guide to Vehicle Donations” IRS Publication 4303 (Rev. 1-2015).  This Publication provides important information you will want to consider if you are planning to claim a vehicle donation as a charitable deduction.

 Car Donation and Tax Deduction

According to the IRS there are 3 things you should consider regarding your charitable vehicle donation:

Q:  Is The Charity Of My Choice A Qualifying Charity?

 A:  “The most common types of qualified organizations are section 501(c)(3) organizations such as charitable, educational, or religious organizations.”  To verify that an organization is a qualified charity you can use the EO Select Check tool on the IRS website.  It is important to note that “Not all qualified organizations are listed in EO Select Check which can be found at http://www.irs.gov/Charities-&-Non-Profits/Exempt-Organizations-Select-Check. Please note churches, synagogues, temples, and mosques are not required to apply to the IRS for recognition of exemption in order to be qualified organizations and are frequently not listed.”  If you have questions regarding a charity you can call the IRS Customer Account Services division for Tax Exempt and Government Entities at (877) 829-5500 (toll-free).  Be sure to have the charity’s correct name and address when you call.

Q:  How Do I Determine The Amount I Can Deduct For My Vehicle Donation?

 A:  Vehicles sold for over $500:  “If the charity sells your vehicle for over $500, your deduction is limited to the gross proceeds the charity receives from its sale.  The charity should provide you with a Written Acknowledgement for Vehicle Contribution or an IRS Form 1098-C, Contribution of Motor Vehicles, Boats, and Airplanes, as acknowledgment.  The Written Acknowledgement or IRS Form 1098-C should contain the following information:

  • Your name and taxpayer identification number,
  • The vehicle identification number
  • The date of the contribution, and one of the following:
    • A statement that no goods or services were provided by the charity in return for the donation, if that was the case,
    • A description and good faith estimate of the value of goods or services, if any, that the charity provided in return for the donation, or
    • A statement that goods or services provided by the charity consisted entirely of intangible religious benefits, if that was the case.
  • A statement certifying that the vehicle was sold in an arm’s length transaction between unrelated parties,
  • The date the vehicle was sold,
  • The gross proceeds received from the sale, and
  • A statement that your deduction may not exceed the gross proceeds from the sale.

Note:  If the acknowledgement does not contain all required information the deduction may not exceed $500.

Vehicles sold for under $500:  If you are claiming a deduction of $500 or less, you will need to determine your vehicle’s fair market value as of the date of the contribution.  Generally, fair market value is the price a willing buyer would pay and a willing seller would accept for the vehicle, when neither party is compelled to buy or sell, and both parties have reasonable knowledge of the relevant facts.

If you are using a vehicle pricing guide to determine fair market value, be sure that the sales price listed is for a vehicle that is the same make, model, and year, sold in the same condition, and with the same or substantially similar options or accessories, as your vehicle.  Moreover, the fair market value of a vehicle cannot exceed the price listed for a private-party sale.”  IRS Publication 4303 (Rev. 1-2015).

Q:  What Are My Responsibilities As A Donor?

A:  For the IRS you will need to record certain information about the donation including the name and address of the charity you donated to, date of donation, place where donated and a description of the vehicle.

IRS Publication 4303 (Rev. 1-2015) states “You must attach to your return the written acknowledgement received from the charity if you are deducting more than $500. Depending on the amount you are claiming as a charitable contribution deduction, you may need to get and keep certain records and file an additional form or statement to substantiate your charitable contributions.”

Form 8283, Noncash Charitable Contributions-

“If the deduction you are claiming for a donated vehicle is greater than $500, but not more than $5000, you must complete Section A of form 8283 and attach it to your Form 1040.

If the deduction you are claiming for a donated vehicle is greater than $5,000, you must complete Section B of Form 8283, which must include the signature of an authorized official of the charity, and attach it to your return.”

For more information you may want to consult with your tax advisor.  You can view the IRS Publication 4303 “A Donor’s Guide to Vehicle Donation” at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p4303.pdf.

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Feb 06 2015

Cars 4 Causes® Goes RED For Women!

February is heart health month; and today is National Wear Red Day.  Cars 4 Causes® “Goes Red For Women” to help raise awareness for heart disease and it’s impact on women.  Did you know that 1 in 3 women die of heart disease and stroke?  Today is a great day to learn about heart disease and stroke.  Take action….live a healthier life!

Cars 4 Causes® Goes Red For Women!

Cars 4 Causes® Goes Red For Women!

7 Simple tips to prevent Heart Disease and Stroke

  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Get plenty of exercise
  • Limit alcohol and tobacco consumption
  • Get a yearly physical
  • Check blood pressure
  • Check cholesterol
  • Manage Diabetes

Signs of a heart attack

  • Pain in the center of your chest which last more than a few minutes
  • Discomfort or pain in one or both arms, back and neck, jaw and stomach
  • Shortness of breath which may be accompanied by chest pain

If you have these symptoms take immediate action – call 911.

Signs of Stroke

  • Numbness or weakness on one side of the face, arms or legs
  • Confusion or trouble speaking
  • Trouble seeing and sudden severe headache
  • Dizziness and trouble walking

If you have these symptoms take immediate action – call 911 – Be sure to make note of the time of the first symptom as this can help with recovery.

To learn more about the “Go Red For Women” Campaign and to learn more about how to prevent Heart Disease and Stroke visit https://www.goredforwomen.org/

#GoRedForWomen #GoRed

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Jan 27 2015

It’s Tax Season – 4 Ways Cars 4 Causes® Can Help You!

Category: UncategorizedJackie Mack @ 11:50 am

It’s tax season again.  Many individuals view their tax refund as an opportunity to buy a new or used car.  Are you one of those people?  If so, Cars 4 Causes® can help you get the most bang for your buck!  We can help you when it’s time to buy a used car or donate your old car and, when you donate, you qualify to receive a tax deduction.  You can also choose your favorite charity to benefit from your donation.  YES!  We can help you with all of that this tax season.

4 Ways We Can Help During Tax Season

4 Ways We Can Help During Tax Season

Buying a New Car

Are you looking to upgrade and replace your old vehicle?  If so, don’t trade-in your old car donate it.  You will be glad you did!  When you donate you automatically qualify for a tax deduction.  We provide you with the forms necessary to claim that deduction for tax purposes and you can select a qualified 501(c) (3) charity to benefit from your donation.

Buying a Used Car

Are you planning on buying a used car?  Cars 4 Causes runs a very successful online auction.  Be sure to check it out before you consider buying elsewhere.  Here’s why… Buying a car from us is so much more than just a purchase!  The money you spend goes directly to support charitable causes.  The dollars from your purchase will go to support someone in need.  You will be a part of the movement to make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate.   If you win one of our auctions; be sure to ask our sales staff to tell you about the cause your purchase will be supporting.  “It Feels Good Helping Others!”®

Donate Your Old Car

Now that you’ve purchased that new car Cars 4 Causes will make donating your old car a breeze.  The donation process is simple and takes just a few minutes.  We will arrange to have your vehicle picked up by one of our licensed, insured and approved towing operators, usually within 24-48 hours.  Each vehicle is then carefully evaluated by our experienced staff to determine the appropriate sales channel to generate the largest tax refund for you and the most money for your charity.   Our sales channels include outlets for retail sales, wholesale auctions and clean air salvage outlets.  

When you donate you automatically qualify for a tax deduction and we provide you with the forms necessary to claim that deduction for tax purposes.  In addition, you may select any qualified 501(c) (3) charity to benefit from your donation.  That’s right… you get a tax deduction and your charity benefits.  We are “The Charity That Gives to Charities”®

Plan Your Tax Savings

Did you know that when you buy a new or used car you may qualify to deduct the taxes and fees you pay?[1]  Also, if you donate your old car to us you qualify for a tax deduction.   We will provide you with the tax forms necessary to claim your deduction for tax purposes.  That adds up to double the tax savings!  We recommend that you consult with your tax advisor so that you can maximize your tax savings.

Support a Charitable Cause

When you donate a vehicle to Cars 4 Causes you can name an additional charity to benefit from your donation.  That’s right …. You choose the charity.   Vehicle donation changes lives.  The value of each donated vehicle is different.   Did you know that on average just one donated vehicle can provide up to 700 hot meals or 28 nights of shelter. [2]  Now that’s what I call impact.   We invite you to become a part of the movement to help others… Your donations make a difference.

Cars 4 Causes Car Donation Program is here to help you during tax season and every season.   Visit us online at www.cars4causes.net or give us a call.  We look forward to helping you!

 

#tax #donate #car #support #charity #usedcar


[1] http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i1040sca.pdf

[2] http://www.bouldershelter.org/donate.impact.html

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